Streptomyces griseus

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Streptomyces griseus
Streptomyces griseus.jpg
Spore arrangement in Streptomyces griseus. Grey spores arranged in straight chains, as is typical of these strains.[1][2]
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Bacteria
Phylum: Actinobacteria
Order: Actinomycetales
Family: Streptomycetaceae
Genus: Streptomyces
Species: S. griseus
Binomial name
Streptomyces griseus
(Krainsky 1914)
Waksman and Henrici 1948

Actinomyces griseus Krainsky 1914

Streptomyces griseus is a species of bacteria in the genus Streptomyces commonly found in soil. A few strains have been also reported from deep-sea sediments. It is a Gram positive bacterium with high GC content. Along with most other streptomycetes, S. griseus strains are well known producers of antibiotics and other such commercially significant secondary metabolites. These strains are known to be producers of 32 different structural types of bioactive compounds. The first antibiotic ever reported from a bacterium comes from strains of S. griseus. Recently, the whole genome sequence of one of its strains had been completed.

The taxonomic history of S. griseus and its phylogenetically related strains has been turbulent. S. griseus was first described in 1914 by Krainsky, who called the species Actinomyces griseus.[3] The name was changed in 1948 by Waksman and Henrici to S. griseus. The interest in these strains stems from their ability to produce streptomycin, a compound which demonstrated significant bactericidal activity against organisms such as Yersinia pestis (the causative agent of plague) and Mycobacterium tuberculosis (the causative agent of tuberculosis). For his work on these strains of bacteria and the antibiotic they produce, Waksman would later be awarded a Nobel Prize.


Main article: Streptomyces

Streptomyces is the largest genus of the Actinobacteria and is the type genus of the family Streptomycetaceae.[4] These are Gram positive bacteria with high GC content[4] and are characterised by a complex secondary metabolism.[5] They produce over two-thirds of the clinically useful antibiotics of natural origin .[6] Streptomycetes are found predominantly in soil and in decaying vegetation, and most produce spores. Streptomycetes are noted for their distinct "earthy" odor which results from production of a volatile metabolite, geosmin.[5]

Like other streptomycetes, S. griseus has a high GC content in its genome,[7] with an average of 72.2%.[8] The species was first classified within the genus Streptomyces by Waksman and Henrici in 1948.[9] The taxonomy of S. griseus and its evolutionarily related strains have been a considerable source of confusion for microbial systematists.[2] 16S rRNA gene sequence data have been used to recognise the related strains, and are called S. griseus 16S rRNA gene clade.[2] The strains of this clade have homogeneous phenotypic properties[10] but show substantial genotypic heterogenecity based on genomic data.[11] Several attempts are still made to solve this issue using techniques such as DNA:DNA homology[2] and multilocus sequence typing.[12][13] A whole genome sequence was recently carried out on the IFO 13350 strain of S. griseus.[8]

Physiology and morphology[edit]

S. griseus and its related strains have recently been shown to be alkaliphilic, i.e., they grow best at alkaline pH values. Although these organisms grow in a wide pH range (from 5 to 11), they show a growth optimum at pH 9.[9] They produce grey spore masses and grey-yellow reverse pigments when they grow as colonies.[2] The spores have smooth surfaces and are arranged as straight chains.[1]


Streptomyces griseus strains have been isolated from various ecologies, including stell waste tips,[14] rhizosphere,[15] deep sea sediments[16] and coastal beach and dune sand systems.[9] Recent studies have indicated the strains of S. griseus might be undergoing ecology-specific evolution, giving rise to genetic variation with the specific ecology, termed ecovars.[12]

Antibiotic production[edit]

Interest in the genus Streptomyces for antibiotics came after the discovery of the antibiotic streptomycin in a S. griseus strain in 1943.[17] The discovery of streptomycin, an antituberculosis antibiotic, earned Waksman the Nobel Prize in 1952.[18] The strains of this species are now known to be rich sources of antibiotics and to produce 32 different structural types of commercially significant secondary metabolites.[19][20] Furthermore, the genomic studies have revealed a single strain of S. griseus IFO 13350 has the capacity to produce 34 different secondary metabolites.[21]


  1. ^ a b Amano, S; S. Miyadoh; T. Shomura. "Streptomyces griseus M-1027". Digital Atlas of Actinomycetes. Retrieved 2008-12-02. 
  2. ^ a b c d e Liu, Zhiheng; Shi, Yanlin; Zhang, Yamei; Zhou, Zhihong; Lu, Zhitang; Li, Wei; Huang, Ying; Rodríguez, Carlos; Goodfellow, Michael (2005). "Classification of Streptomyces griseus (Krainsky 1914) Waksman and Henrici 1948 and related species and the transfer of 'Microstreptospora cinerea' to the genus Streptomyces as Streptomyces yanii sp. nov". International Journal of Systematic and Evolutionary Microbiology 55 (4): 1605–10. doi:10.1099/ijs.0.63654-0. PMID 16014489. 
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  4. ^ a b Kämpfer P (2006). "The Family Streptomycetaceae, Part I: Taxonomy". In Dworkin, M; et al. The prokaryotes: a handbook on the biology of bacteria. Berlin: Springer. pp. 538–604. ISBN 0-387-25493-5. 
  5. ^ a b Madigan M, Martinko J, eds. (2005). Brock Biology of Microorganisms (11th ed.). Prentice Hall. ISBN 0-13-144329-1. [page needed]
  6. ^ Kieser T, Bibb MJ, Buttner MJ, Chater KF, Hopwood DA (2000). Practical Streptomyces Genetics (2nd ed.). Norwich, England: John Innes Foundation. ISBN 0-7084-0623-8. [page needed]
  7. ^ Paulsen, I.T. (1996). "Carbon metabolism and its regulation in Streptomyces and other high GC Gram-positive bacteria". Research in Microbiology 147 (6–7): 535–41. doi:10.1016/0923-2508(96)84009-5. PMID 9084767. 
  8. ^ a b "Streptomyces griseus IFO 13350 Genome". Retrieved 2008-12-02. [dead link]
  9. ^ a b c Antony-Babu, Sanjay; Goodfellow, Michael (2008). "Biosystematics of alkaliphilic streptomycetes isolated from seven locations across a beach and dune sand system". Antonie van Leeuwenhoek 94 (4): 581–91. doi:10.1007/s10482-008-9277-4. PMID 18777141. 
  10. ^ Lanoot, Benjamin; Vancanneyt, Marc; Hoste, Bart; Vandemeulebroecke, Katrien; Cnockaert, Margo C.; Dawyndt, Peter; Liu, Zhiheng; Huang, Ying; Swings, Jean (2005). "Grouping of streptomycetes using 16S-ITS RFLP fingerprinting". Research in Microbiology 156 (5–6): 755–62. doi:10.1016/j.resmic.2005.01.017. PMID 15950131. 
  11. ^ Lanoot, Benjamin; Vancanneyt, Marc; Dawyndt, Peter; Cnockaert, Margo; Zhang, Jianli; Huang, Ying; Liu, Zhiheng; Swings, Jean (2004). "BOX-PCR Fingerprinting as a Powerful Tool to Reveal Synonymous Names in the Genus Streptomyces. Emended Descriptions are Proposed for the Species Streptomyces cinereorectus, S. Fradiae, S. Tricolor, S. Colombiensis, S. Filamentosus, S. Vinaceus and S. Phaeopurpureus". Systematic and Applied Microbiology 27 (1): 84–92. doi:10.1078/0723-2020-00257. PMID 15053325. 
  12. ^ a b Antony-Babu, Sanjay; Stach, James E. M.; Goodfellow, Michael (2008). "Genetic and phenotypic evidence for Streptomyces griseus ecovars isolated from a beach and dune sand system". Antonie van Leeuwenhoek 94 (1): 63–74. doi:10.1007/s10482-008-9246-y. PMID 18491216. 
  13. ^ Guo, Yinping; Zheng, Wen; Rong, Xiaoying; Huang, Ying (2008). "A multilocus phylogeny of the Streptomyces griseus 16S rRNA gene clade: Use of multilocus sequence analysis for streptomycete systematics". International Journal of Systematic and Evolutionary Microbiology 58 (1): 149–59. doi:10.1099/ijs.0.65224-0. PMID 18175701. 
  14. ^ Graf, Ellen; Schneider, Kathrin; Nicholson, Graeme; Ströbele, Markus; Jones, Amanda L; Goodfellow, Michael; Beil, Winfried; s¨Ssmuth, Roderich D; Fiedler, Hans-Peter (2007). "Elloxazinones a and B, New Aminophenoxazinones from Streptomyces griseus Acta 2871†". The Journal of Antibiotics 60 (4): 277–84. doi:10.1038/ja.2007.35. PMID 17456980. 
  15. ^ Goodfellow, M; Williams, S T (1983). "Ecology of Actinomycetes". Annual Review of Microbiology 37: 189–216. doi:10.1146/annurev.mi.37.100183.001201. PMID 6357051. 
  16. ^ Pathom-Aree, Wasu; Stach, James E. M.; Ward, Alan C.; Horikoshi, Koki; Bull, Alan T.; Goodfellow, Michael (2006). "Diversity of actinomycetes isolated from Challenger Deep sediment (10,898 m) from the Mariana Trench". Extremophiles 10 (3): 181–9. doi:10.1007/s00792-005-0482-z. PMID 16538400. 
  17. ^ Newman, David J.; Cragg, Gordon M.; Snader, Kenneth M. (2000). "The influence of natural products upon drug discovery (Antiquity to late 1999)". Natural Product Reports 17 (3): 215–34. doi:10.1039/a902202c. PMID 10888010. 
  18. ^ Wallgren, A. "Presentation Speech: The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 1952". Nobel Prize Foundation. Retrieved 2008-12-02. 
  19. ^ Strohl, William R (2004). "Antimicrobials". In Bull, Alan. Microbial diversity and bioprospecting. ASM publishers. pp. 136–155. ISBN 1-55581-267-8. 
  20. ^ Zhang, Lixin (2005). "Integrated Approaches for Discovering Novel Drugs From Microbial Natural Products". In Zhang, Lixin. Natural products drug discovery and therapeutic medicine. Humana Press. pp. 33–55. doi:10.1007/978-1-59259-976-9_2. ISBN 978-1-58829-383-1. 
  21. ^ Ohnishi, Yasuo; Ishikawa, Jun; Hara, Hirofumi; Suzuki, Hirokazu; Ikenoya, Miwa; Ikeda, Haruo; Yamashita, Atsushi; Hattori, Masahira; Horinouchi, Sueharu (2008). "Genome Sequence of the Streptomycin-Producing Microorganism Streptomyces griseus IFO 13350". Journal of Bacteriology 190 (11): 4050–60. doi:10.1128/JB.00204-08. PMC 2395044. PMID 18375553.