Folia Microbiologica

, Volume 64, Issue 4, pp 481–496 | Cite as

Phylogenetic affiliation and antimicrobial effects of endophytic actinobacteria associated with medicinal plants: prevalence of polyketide synthase type II in antimicrobial strains

  • Anwesha Gohain
  • Rupak Kumar SarmaEmail author
  • Rajal Debnath
  • Juthika Saikia
  • Bhim Pratap Singh
  • Rajeev Sarmah
  • Ratul SaikiaEmail author
Original Article


The most diverse and versatile endophytic actinobacteria are relatively unexplored potential sources of bioactive metabolites useful for different medical, agricultural, and other commercial applications. Their diversity in symbiotic association with traditionally utilized medicinal plants of northeast India is scantly available. The present investigation assessed the genetic diversity of endophytic actinobacteria (n = 120) distributed around the root, stem, and leaf tissues of six selected medicinal plants (Emblica officinalis, Terminalia chebula, T. arjuna, Murraya koenigii, Rauwolfia serpentina, and Azadirachta indica) from three different protected areas of evergreen forest—the Gibbon Wildlife Sanctuary (GWS), the Kaziranga National Park (KNP), and the North East Ecological Park (NEEP) of Assam, India. The samples were collected in two seasons (summer and winter). The overall phylogenetic analysis showed significant genetic diversity with 18 distinct genera belonging to 12 families. Overall, the occurrence of Streptomyces genus was predominant across all three sampling sites (76.66%), in both the sampling season (summer and winter). Shannon’s and Simpson’s diversity estimates showed their presence at A. indica (1.496, 0.778), R. serpentina (1.470, 0.858), and E. officinalis (0.975, 0.353). Among the site sampled, GWS had the most diverse community of actinobacteria (Shannon = 0.86 and Simpson = 0.557). The isolates were antagonistically more active against the investigated plant pathogenic bacteria than fungal pathogens. Further analysis revealed the prevalence of polyketide synthase genes (PKS) type II (84%) and PKS type I (16%) in the genome of the antimicrobial isolates. The overall findings confirmed the presence of biosynthetically active diverse actinobacterial members in the selected medicinal plants which offer potential opportunities towards the exploration of biologically active compounds.



Polyketide synthase type I


Polyketide synthase type II


Gibbon Wildlife Sanctuary


Kaziranga National Park


North East Ecological Park



Authors are thankful to the DBT-Bioinformatics Infrastructure Facility (BIF) Centre, CSIR-NEIST for providing computational facility and also to the Director, CSIR-NEIST for the necessary laboratory resources.

Funding information

The work was supported by grants from the DBT sponsored twinning project (No. BT/209/NE/TBP/2011 dated 30/05/2012), the Government of India, New Delhi.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interests.

Supplementary material

12223_2018_673_MOESM1_ESM.docx (3.8 mb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 3871 kb)


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Copyright information

© Institute of Microbiology, Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, v.v.i. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Anwesha Gohain
    • 1
  • Rupak Kumar Sarma
    • 1
    Email author
  • Rajal Debnath
    • 2
  • Juthika Saikia
    • 1
  • Bhim Pratap Singh
    • 3
  • Rajeev Sarmah
    • 4
  • Ratul Saikia
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Biotechnology Group, Biological Sciences and Technology DivisionCSIR - North East Institute of Science and TechnologyJorhatIndia
  2. 2.Central Muga Eri Research and Training InstituteJorhatIndia
  3. 3.Department of BiotechnologyMizoram UniversityAizawlIndia
  4. 4.Assam Down Town UniversityGuwahatiIndia

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