3 Biotech

, 9:45 | Cite as

Diversity and antagonistic potential of Actinobacteria from the fungus-growing termite Odontotermes formosanus

  • Caiping Yin
  • Liping Jin
  • Shuai Li
  • Xiao Xu
  • Yinglao ZhangEmail author
Original Article


43 Actinobacteria were isolated from the nest of Odontotermes formosanus. A phylogenetic analysis of 23 Actinobacteria isolates with different morphotypes showed that they did not form a monophyletic group. Antifungal bioassays exhibited that many strains inhibit both the termite cultivar Termitomyces and the competitor Xylaria. However, Actinobacteria inhibited the competitor Xylaria more severely than the termite cultural fungus Termitomyces. Furthermore, two Actinobacteria (Streptomyces sp. T33 and S. bellus T37) had a selective antifungal effect on Xylaria, with the inhibition zone of 25.5 and 8.9 mm, respectively. An actinomycin D was isolated from the strain T33 and had potent antifungal activity against Xylaria with IC50 value of less than 3.1 µg/mL. In addition, further bioassays showed that actinomycin D possessed potent antifungal activities against Magnaporthe grisea (IC50 = 0.9 µg/mL), Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. cucumerinum (IC50 = 2.2 µg/mL), Valsa mali (IC50 = 1.7 µg/mL), Rhizoctonia solani (IC50 = 10.3 µg/mL), Dothiorella gregaria (IC50 = 12.5 µg/mL) and F. oxysporum f. sp. mornordicae (IC50 = 14.3 µg/mL), which were comparable to those of referenced cycloheximide. The findings of the present study suggest that the termite-associated Actinobacteria have a potential to be used as microbial fungicide.


Diversity Actinobacteria Odontotermes formosanus Actinomycin D Antifungal activity 



This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC) (31770007) and Zhejiang Provincial Natural Science Foundation of China (LY17C010002).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

There are no conflicts of interest to declare.


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Copyright information

© King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Caiping Yin
    • 1
    • 2
  • Liping Jin
    • 2
  • Shuai Li
    • 2
  • Xiao Xu
    • 2
  • Yinglao Zhang
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  1. 1.School of Life SciencesAnhui Agricultural UniversityHefeiPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.College of Chemistry and Life ScienceZhejiang Normal UniversityJinhuaPeople’s Republic of China

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