DOI: 10.1128/mmbr.00019-15 ISSN:

Taxonomy, Physiology, and Natural Products of Actinobacteria

Essaid Ait Barka, Parul Vatsa, Lisa Sanchez, Nathalie Gaveau-Vaillant, Cedric Jacquard, Hans-Peter Klenk, Christophe Clément, Yder Ouhdouch, Gilles P. van Wezel
  • Molecular Biology
  • Microbiology
  • Infectious Diseases


Actinobacteriaare Gram-positive bacteria with high G+C DNA content that constitute one of the largest bacterial phyla, and they are ubiquitously distributed in both aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems. ManyActinobacteriahave a mycelial lifestyle and undergo complex morphological differentiation. They also have an extensive secondary metabolism and produce about two-thirds of all naturally derived antibiotics in current clinical use, as well as many anticancer, anthelmintic, and antifungal compounds. Consequently, these bacteria are of major importance for biotechnology, medicine, and agriculture.Actinobacteriaplay diverse roles in their associations with various higher organisms, since their members have adopted different lifestyles, and the phylum includes pathogens (notably, species ofCorynebacterium,Mycobacterium,Nocardia,Propionibacterium, andTropheryma), soil inhabitants (e.g.,MicromonosporaandStreptomycesspecies), plant commensals (e.g.,Frankiaspp.), and gastrointestinal commensals (Bifidobacteriumspp.).Actinobacteriaalso play an important role as symbionts and as pathogens in plant-associated microbial communities. This review presents an update on the biology of this important bacterial phylum.

More from our Archive