Microbial Ecology

, Volume 11, Issue 2, pp 149–163 | Cite as

Antibiotic activity of epiphytic bacteria isolated from intertidal seaweeds

  • Manuel L. Lemos
  • Alicia E. Toranzo
  • Juan L. Barja


A survey of antibiotic-producing bacteria from the microbial flora attached to seaweeds and the study of their antibiotic capacities were carried out. From 5 species of green and brown marine algae, 224 bacterial strains were isolated and tested for antibiotic production. A total of 38 strains displayed antibiotic activity, withEnteromorpha intestinalis being the source of the highest number of producer strains. All epiphytic bacteria with antibiotic activity were assigned to thePseudomonas-Alteromonas group. Antagonism assays among the isolates demonstrated that each producer strain inhibits the growth of the other producers, as well as of some nonproducer strains also isolated from seaweeds. Likewise, an autoinhibitory effect was observed in all antibiotic-producing strains. Antibacterial spectra of all the strains include activity againstStaphylococcus, Alcaligenes, Pseudomonas, Vibrio, Pasteurella, andAchromobacter. A preliminary characterization of the antibiotic substances produced by these epiphytic bacteria demonstrated that they are low molecular weight compounds, thermolabile, and anionic and are not affected by proteolytic enzymes. The role that these inhibitory substances can play in the natural environment is discussed.


Vibrio Marine Alga Producer Strain Alcaligenes Antibiotic Production 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1985

Authors and Affiliations

  • Manuel L. Lemos
    • 1
  • Alicia E. Toranzo
    • 1
  • Juan L. Barja
    • 1
  1. 1.Departemento de Microbiología, Facultad de BiologíaUniversidad de SantiagoSantiago de CompostelaSpain

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