Open Access

PCR-based Screening Approach: A Rapid Method to Detect the Biosynthetic Potential of Antimicrobials in Actinobacterial Strains


This study aimed to investigate the PCR-based screening strategy for the prediction of the antimicrobial biosynthetic potential of the selected Streptomyces strains originated from an extreme environment (Cholistan Desert, Pakistan). The biosynthetic potential was determined by using both molecular and culture-dependent screening approaches. The four biosynthetic genes clusters, including the pks-1, nrps, cyp P450 hydroxylase (cyps), and glycopeptide oxy b genes, were investigated in the selected strains by PCR amplification, sequencing, and by subsequent bioinformatics approaches. Among the 40 selected Streptomyces strains, 33 strains possessed the nrps gene, 17 strains carried the pks-1 gene, four strains were found to have the cyps gene, and none of the strain carried oxy b gene. The Streptomyces strains including NR-1, NR-10, NR-14, and NR-15 were investigated for in vitro antifungal activity against Fusarium oxysporum, Rhizoctonia solani, and Aspergillus sp. The extracts were analyzed for chemical profiling (TLC and HPLC-UV), and a unique pattern of secondary metabolites was observed. The selected strains exhibited pronounced antifungal activity against the fungal test strains with the zone of inhibition up to 17, 18, and 19 mm, respectively. The study depicts that gene-based screening can be successfully applied to identify potentially bioactive strains by usin a single screening process. This PCR-based approach is rapid and can be used for sorting out and selecting the potential candidate among actinobacterial culture collections. Such a preselection or strain prioritization consequently decreases the time and efforts required for selecting the potential bioactive strain, which then can be subjected to the detailed chemical analysis.

Publication timeframe:
4 times per year
Journal Subjects:
Life Sciences, Microbiology and Virology