, Volume 57, Issue 4, pp 749-756

Endophytic Actinomycetes from Azadirachta indica A. Juss.: Isolation, Diversity, and Anti-microbial Activity

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Endophytic actinomycetes from Azadirachta indica A. Juss. were screened and evaluated for their anti-microbial activity against an array of pathogenic fungi and bacteria. A total of 55 separate isolates were obtained from 20 plants, and 60% of these showed inhibitory activity against one or more pathogenic fungi and bacteria. Actinomycetes were most commonly recovered from roots (54.5% of all isolates), followed by stems (23.6%), and leaves (21.8%). The dominant genus was Streptomyces (49.09% of all isolates), while Streptosporangium (14.5%), Microbispora (10.9%), Streptoverticillium (5.5%), Sacchromonospora sp. (5.5%), and Nocardia (3.6%) were also recovered. Streptomyces isolates AzR 006, 011, and 031 (all from roots) had acute activity against Pseudomonas fluorescens, while AzR027, 032, and 051 (also all from roots) showed activity against Escherichia coli. Meanwhile, an isolate of Nocardia sp. from leaves (AzL025) showed antagonism against Bacillus subtilis. Overall, 32 of the 55 were found to have broad spectrum significant antimicrobial activity, while about 4% of them showed strong and acute inhibition to pathogenic fungi and bacteria. Isolates of Streptomyces AzR031, 008, and 047, Nocardia sp. AzL025, and Streptosporangium sp. AzR 021 and 048 are of particular interest because they showed significant antagonistic activity against root pathogens, including Pythium and Phytophthora sp. Thus, many of the isolates recovered from A. indica in this study may be used in developing potential bio-control agents against a range of pathogenic fungi and bacteria and in the production of novel natural antimicrobial compounds. These results not only further our understanding of plant–microbe interactions but also indicate that there is an untapped resource of endophytic microorganisms that could be exploited in the biotechnological, medicinal, and agricultural industries.