Atmospheric Dispersal of Bioactive Streptomyces albidoflavus Strains Among Terrestrial and Marine Environments

Microb Ecol. 2016 Feb;71(2):375-86. doi: 10.1007/s00248-015-0654-z. Epub 2015 Jul 30.


Members of the Streptomyces albidoflavus clade, identified by 16S rRNA sequencing and phylogenetic analyses, are widespread among predominant terrestrial lichens (Flavoparmelia caperata and Xanthoria parietina) and diverse intertidal and subtidal marine macroalgae, brown red and green (Phylum Heterokontophyta, Rhodophyta, and Chlorophyta) from the Cantabrian Cornice. In addition to these terrestrial and coastal temperate habitats, similar strains were also found to colonize deep-sea ecosystems and were isolated mainly from gorgonian and solitary corals and other invertebrates (Phylum Cnidaria, Annelida, Echinodermata, Arthropoda, and Porifera) living up to 4700-m depth and at a temperature of 2-4 °C in the submarine Avilés Canyon. Similar strains have been also repeatedly isolated from atmospheric precipitations (rain drops, snow, and hailstone) collected in the same area throughout a year observation time. These ubiquitous strains were found to be halotolerant, psychrotolerant, and barotolerant. Bioactive compounds with diverse antibiotic and cytotoxic activities produced by these strains were identified by high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) and database comparison. These include antibacterials (paulomycins A and B), antifungals (maltophilins), antifungals displaying also cytotoxic activities (antimycins and 6-epialteramides), and the antitumor compound fredericamycin. A hypothetical dispersion model is here proposed to explain the biogeographical distribution of S. albidoflavus strains in terrestrial, marine, and atmospheric environments.

Keywords: Actinobacteria; Antibiotic; Antitumor; Avilés Canyon; Clouds; Corals; Lichens; Seaweeds.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biological Factors / chemistry
  • Biological Factors / metabolism
  • Invertebrates / classification
  • Invertebrates / microbiology*
  • Lichens / microbiology
  • Seawater / microbiology*
  • Streptomyces / chemistry
  • Streptomyces / genetics
  • Streptomyces / isolation & purification*
  • Streptomyces / metabolism


  • Biological Factors