Culturable bacteria from two Portuguese salterns: diversity and bioactive potential

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Salterns are extreme environments, where the high salt concentration is the main limitation to microbial growth, along with solar radiation, temperature and pH. These selective pressures might lead to the acquisition of unique genetic adaptations that can manifest in the production of interesting natural products. The present study aimed at obtaining the culturable microbial diversity from two Portuguese salterns located in different geographic regions. A total of 190 isolates were retrieved and identified as belonging to 30 genera distributed among 4 phyla—Firmicutes, Proteobacteria, Actinobacteria and Bacteroidetes. Specifically, members of the genus Bacillus were the most frequently isolated from both salterns and all actinobacterial isolates belong to the rare members of this group. The molecular screening of NRPS and PKS-I genes allowed the detection of 38 isolates presenting PKS-I, 25 isolates presenting NRPS and 23 isolates presenting both types of biosynthetic genes. Sequencing of randomly selected amplicons revealed similarity with known PKS-I and NRPS genes or non-annotated hypothetical proteins. This study is the first contribution on the culturable bacterial diversity of Portuguese salterns and on their bioactive potential. Ultimately, these findings provide a novel contribution to improve the understanding on the microbial diversity of salterns.




Almeida, E., Dias, T. V., Ferraz, G., Carvalho, M. F., & Lage, O. M. (2020). Culturable bacteria from two Portuguese salterns: diversity and bioactive potential. Antonie van Leeuwenhoek, International Journal of General and Molecular Microbiology, 113(4), 459–475.

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