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Streptomyces sp. JS520 produces exceptionally high quantities of undecylprodigiosin with antibacterial, antioxidative, and UV-protective properties

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A Gram-positive, red-pigment-producing bacterial strain, designated JS520 was isolated from the pristine sediment from the cave on mountain Miroc in Serbia. Strain was confirmed to belong to Streptomyces genus based on phenotypic and genetic analysis. Streptomyces sp. JS520 has the ability to produce exceptionally high amounts of deep red pigment into both solid and liquid media. Liquid chromatography and mass spectroscopy of the purified pigments revealed the major component to be undecylprodigiosin (93 %) with minor component being oxidatively cyclized derivative. The pigment production was affected by medium composition, temperature, pH, and the aeration rate. By medium optimization, yields of undecylprodigiosin of 138 mg l−1 were achieved, what is the highest level of undecylprodigiosin production reported for the members of Gram-positive Streptomyces genus. Purified pigment had antimicrobial properties against bacterial Bacillus and Micrococcus species (50 μg ml−1) and against Candida albicans species (100–200 μg ml−1 range). The ability to affect auto-oxidation of the linoleic acid was demonstrated for the purified undecylprodigiosin, suggesting antioxidative properties of this pigment. Multiple ecophysiological roles of the pigment were revealed by comparing cultures grown under pigment-producing and pigment-nonproducing conditions. Cells grown under undecylprodigiosin-producing conditions could tolerate presence of hydrogen peroxide exhibiting three times smaller zones of inhibition at 100 mM H2O2. Undecylprodigiosin-producing cells were also less susceptible to tetracycline, kanamycin, chloramphenicol, and 8-hydroxyquinoline. While the growth of the cells not producing pigment was completely inhibited by 15 min of exposure to ultraviolet light (254 nm), cells producing undecylprodigiosin and cells supplied with purified pigment in vitro showed survival rates at 22 and 8 %, respectively.

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This work was supported by the Ministry of Science and Technological Development of the Republic of Serbia (grant no. 173048).

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Correspondence to Jasmina Nikodinovic-Runic.

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Stankovic, N., Radulovic, V., Petkovic, M. et al. Streptomyces sp. JS520 produces exceptionally high quantities of undecylprodigiosin with antibacterial, antioxidative, and UV-protective properties. Appl Microbiol Biotechnol 96, 1217–1231 (2012).

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  • Pigment
  • Undecylprodigiosin
  • Antioxidative
  • UV protection
  • Streptomyces
  • Medium optimization