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Open Access Highly Accessed Research article

Identification of actinomycetes from plant rhizospheric soils with inhibitory activity against Colletotrichum spp., the causative agent of anthracnose disease

Bungonsiri Intra123, Isada Mungsuntisuk12, Takuya Nihira24, Yasuhiro Igarashi5 and Watanalai Panbangred123*

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Biotechnology, Faculty of Science, Mahidol University, Bangkok 10400, Thailand

2 MU-OU Collaborative Research Center for Bioscience and Biotechnology, Faculty of Science, Mahidol University, Bangkok 10400, Thailand

3 Center of Excellence for Agricultural Biotechnology (AG-BIO), Postgraduate Education and Research Development Office, Commission on Higher Education, Ministry of Education, Thailand

4 International Center for Biotechnology, Osaka University, Osaka 565-0871, Japan

5 Biotechnology Research Center, Toyama Prefectural University, Toyama 939-0398, Japan

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BMC Research Notes 2011, 4:98  doi:10.1186/1756-0500-4-98

Published: 1 April 2011



Colletotrichum is one of the most widespread and important genus of plant pathogenic fungi worldwide. Various species of Colletotrichum are the causative agents of anthracnose disease in plants, which is a severe problem to agricultural crops particularly in Thailand. These phytopathogens are usually controlled using chemicals; however, the use of these agents can lead to environmental pollution. Potential non-chemical control strategies for anthracnose disease include the use of bacteria capable of producing anti-fungal compounds such as actinomycetes spp., that comprise a large group of filamentous, Gram positive bacteria from soil. The aim of this study was to isolate actinomycetes capable of inhibiting the growth of Colletotrichum spp, and to analyze the diversity of actinomycetes from plant rhizospheric soil.


A total of 304 actinomycetes were isolated and tested for their inhibitory activity against Colletotrichum gloeosporioides strains DoA d0762 and DoA c1060 and Colletotrichum capsici strain DoA c1511 which cause anthracnose disease as well as the non-pathogenic Saccharomyces cerevisiae strain IFO 10217. Most isolates (222 out of 304, 73.0%) were active against at least one indicator fungus or yeast. Fifty four (17.8%) were active against three anthracnose fungi and 17 (5.6%) could inhibit the growth of all three fungi and S. cerevisiae used in the test. Detailed analysis on 30 selected isolates from an orchard at Chanthaburi using the comparison of 16S rRNA gene sequences revealed that most of the isolates (87%) belong to the genus Streptomyces sp., while one each belongs to Saccharopolyspora (strain SB-2) and Nocardiopsis (strain CM-2) and two to Nocardia (strains BP-3 and LK-1). Strains LC-1, LC-4, JF-1, SC-1 and MG-1 exerted high inhibitory activity against all three anthracnose fungi and yeast. In addition, the organic solvent extracts prepared from these five strains inhibited conidial growth of the three indicator fungi. Preliminary analysis of crude extracts by high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) indicated that the sample from strain JF-1 may contain a novel compound. Phylogenetic analysis revealed that this strain is closely related to Streptomyces cavurensis NRRL 2740 with 99.8% DNA homology of 16S rRNA gene (500 bp).


The present study suggests that rhizospheric soil is an attractive source for the discovery of a large number of actinomycetes with activity against Colletotrichum spp. An interesting strain (JF-1) with high inhibitory activity has the potential to produce a new compound that may be useful in the control of Colletotrichum spp.