Bioprospecting of desert actinobacteria with special emphases on griseoviridin, mitomycin C and a new bacterial metabolite producing Streptomyces sp. PU-KB10–4

Maira Saleem, Ashba Hassan, Feina Li, Qinpei Lu, Larissa V. Ponomareva, Sean Parkin, Chenghang Sun, Jon S. Thorson, Khaled A. Shaaban, Imran Sajid

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Background: Bioprospecting of actinobacteria isolated from Kubuqi desert, China for antibacterial, antifungal and cytotoxic metabolites production and their structure elucidation. Results: A total of 100 actinobacteria strains were selectively isolated from Kubuqi desert, Inner Mongolia, China. The taxonomic characterization revealed Streptomyces as the predominant genus comprising 37 different species, along with the rare actinobacterial genus Lentzea. The methanolic extracts of 60.8% of strains exhibited potent antimicrobial activities against Staphylococcus aureus, Micrococcus luteus, Bacillus subtilis, Escherichia coli, Salmonella enterica, Saccharomyces cerevisiae and high to mild in vitro cytotoxicity against PC3 (prostate cancer) and A549 (lung carcinoma) cell lines. The metabolomics analysis by TLC, HPLC-UV/vis, HPLC-MS and NMR showed the presence of compounds with molecular weights ranging from 100 to 1000 Da. The scale-up fermentation of the prioritized anti-Gram-negative strain PU-KB10–4 (Streptomyces griseoviridis), yielded three pure compounds including; griseoviridin (1; 42.0 mgL− 1) with 20 fold increased production as compared to previous reports and its crystal structure as monohydrate form is herein reported for the first time, mitomycin C (2; 0.3 mgL− 1) and a new bacterial metabolite 4-hydroxycinnamide (3; 0.59 mgL− 1). Conclusions: This is the first report of the bioprospecting and exploration of actinobacteria from Kubuqi desert and the metabolite 4-hydroxycinnamide (3) is first time isolated from a bacterial source. This study demonstrated that actinobacteria from Kubuqi desert are a potential source of novel bioactive natural products. Underexplored harsh environments like the Kubuqi desert may harbor a wider diversity of actinobacteria, particularly Streptomyces, which produce unique metabolites and are an intriguing source to develop medicinally valuable natural products.

Original languageEnglish
Article number69
JournalBMC Microbiology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023, The Author(s).


  • 4-hydroxycinnamide
  • Actinobacteria
  • Antibacterial
  • Anticancer
  • Kubuqi desert
  • Mitomycin
  • Natural products
  • Streptomyces

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Microbiology (medical)


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