Presentation Title

Characterization of the Antimicrobial Secondary Metabolites Produced by the Cave Bacteria Streptomyces ICC1

Abstract

The progression of antibiotic-resistant microorganisms has hindered the therapeutic efficiency of various commercially available pharmaceuticals. Therefore, an overwhelming demand for novel treatment presents itself; the likelihood of multi-resistant microbes surpassing the development of antibiotics escalates – in a coevolutionary race between humans and bacteria. Researchers have turned to extreme environments as valuable sources of microbial capability, particularly in the production of pharmaceutically significant metabolites. Specifically, the unique conditions of caves – including high humidity, relatively low but stable temperatures, and low nutrients, create a highly selective environment. Energy-starved conditions of caves encourage competition among its microbial community, promoting metabolite production including antibiotics and hydrolytic enzymes, which inhibit growth of their cohabitants.

Streptomyces is one of the most abundant microbial genera in cave environments. The characteristic most notable of Streptomyces is its’ ability to produce bioactive secondary metabolites – such as antifungals, antivirals, antitumorales, anti-hypertensives, immunosuppressants, and especially antibiotics. Through this Honours research, secondary metabolites produced by the cave-dwelling Streptomyces sp. ICC1 strain have been examined; a strain which is prevalent in the isolated environment of the Iron Curtain Cave in Chilliwack, British Columbia. Secondary metabolites secreted by Streptomyces sp. ICC1 have shown antimicrobial properties, evidently effective against both multi-drug resistant strains and common laboratory strains of Escherichia coli and Staphylococcus aureus. Since antimicrobial activity has been established, the next step is the metabolite containing solution will be purified and separated by high performance liquid chromatography techniques. Each peak from the HPLC will be tested for antimicrobial activity. NMR will help elucidate the structure of each active peak that was identified in the HPLC. The determination of the structure will help us hypothesize a mechanism of action.

Department

Biological Sciences

Faculty Advisor

Heidi Huttunen-Hennelly, Naowarat Cheeptham, Donkor Kingsley, Eric Bottos, Dipesh Prema

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Characterization of the Antimicrobial Secondary Metabolites Produced by the Cave Bacteria Streptomyces ICC1

The progression of antibiotic-resistant microorganisms has hindered the therapeutic efficiency of various commercially available pharmaceuticals. Therefore, an overwhelming demand for novel treatment presents itself; the likelihood of multi-resistant microbes surpassing the development of antibiotics escalates – in a coevolutionary race between humans and bacteria. Researchers have turned to extreme environments as valuable sources of microbial capability, particularly in the production of pharmaceutically significant metabolites. Specifically, the unique conditions of caves – including high humidity, relatively low but stable temperatures, and low nutrients, create a highly selective environment. Energy-starved conditions of caves encourage competition among its microbial community, promoting metabolite production including antibiotics and hydrolytic enzymes, which inhibit growth of their cohabitants.

Streptomyces is one of the most abundant microbial genera in cave environments. The characteristic most notable of Streptomyces is its’ ability to produce bioactive secondary metabolites – such as antifungals, antivirals, antitumorales, anti-hypertensives, immunosuppressants, and especially antibiotics. Through this Honours research, secondary metabolites produced by the cave-dwelling Streptomyces sp. ICC1 strain have been examined; a strain which is prevalent in the isolated environment of the Iron Curtain Cave in Chilliwack, British Columbia. Secondary metabolites secreted by Streptomyces sp. ICC1 have shown antimicrobial properties, evidently effective against both multi-drug resistant strains and common laboratory strains of Escherichia coli and Staphylococcus aureus. Since antimicrobial activity has been established, the next step is the metabolite containing solution will be purified and separated by high performance liquid chromatography techniques. Each peak from the HPLC will be tested for antimicrobial activity. NMR will help elucidate the structure of each active peak that was identified in the HPLC. The determination of the structure will help us hypothesize a mechanism of action.