Biosystematics of alkaliphilic streptomycetes isolated from seven locations across a beach and dune sand system
Alkaliphilic streptomycetes were isolated from composite sand samples collected from six out of seven locations across a beach and dune sand system using starch-casein-nitrate agar supplemented with cycloheximide and buffered to pH 10.5. The isolates had colonial and chemotaxonomic properties consistent with their classification in the genus Streptomyces. They were assigned to 49 multimembered and 114 single-membered colour-groups given their ability to produce pigments on oatmeal and peptone-yeast-extract-iron agars and to corresponding taxa based on whole-genome rep-PCR banding patterns. Twenty-four isolates representing the colour and rep-PCR groups grew well from pH 5 to 11, and optimally at pH 9, as did phylogenetically close members of the Streptomyces griseus 16S rRNA gene clade. One hundred and twelve representative alkaliphilic streptomycetes formed a heterogeneous but distinct clade in the Streptomyces 16S rRNA gene tree. A 3-dimensional representation of 16S rRNA sequence data showed that the alkaliphilic streptomycetes formed a distinct group in multidimensional taxospace. It is evident that alkaliphilic streptomycetes are common in the beach and dune sand system and that representatives of this community form new centers of taxonomic variation within the genus Streptomyces that can be equated with species.