Evidence of heat-resistant microorganisms with a special emphasis on filamentous Actinomycetes in hyper-arid soils of Gandom Beryan area, Lut Desert, Iran

  • Somaye Mazkour Department of Food Hygiene and Public Health, School of Veterinary Medicine, Shiraz University, Shiraz, Iran
  • Saeid Hosseinzadeh Department of Food Hygiene and Public Health, School of Veterinary Medicine, Shiraz University, Shiraz, Iran
  • Seyed Shahram Shekarforoush Department of Food Hygiene and Public Health, School of Veterinary Medicine, Shiraz University, Shiraz, Iran
Keywords: Lut Desert, Heat-resistant microorganism, filamentous Actinomycetes


Background and Objectives: In the present study, the Lut Desert, Iran was chosen as one of the hottest places in the world (with the recorded temperature of 70.7°C during 2003-2009) to find out whether any heat-resistant microorganisms were present in the soil.Materials and Methods: The samples were collected from surface and depth of three identified places of Gandom Beryan in the Lut Desert. Chemical analysis and enumeration of the total bacteria, yeasts and molds were performed. Four selective culture media were employed to isolate the filamentous actinomycetes. The suspected colonies were further confirmed using PCR assay. Then the culture cell-free-supernatants (CFS) of isolates were used to investigate their antimicrobial activity against Staphylococcus aureus, Bacillus cereus, Salmonella Typhimurium and Escherichia coli.Results: Chemical analysis of the samples included moisture (0.2-0.9%), ash (85-91%), organic materials (8.3-14.4%), pH (7.59-9.40) and electrical conductivity (380-2000 µS/cm). The number of isolated bacteria and molds varied from 0-20 to 0-40 CFU/g, respectively. Number of Actinomycetes isolated from the soil samples were between 0-12.2 CFU/g. Nine isolated colonies were identified as filamentous Actinomycetes. To determine the possibility of antimicrobial peptides, the CFS (cell-free supernatant) was firstly neutralized by NaOH and catalase. The results showed that none of the CFS of the isolates was effective against E. coli, S. Typhimurium and S. aureus, while the maximum inhibitory effect was investigated on B. cereus, which was 33.1%±1.19% (mean ± SD).Conclusion: The results of the current study imply the presence of rare heat-resistant microorganisms in the soil of Gandom Beryan which may be further used to find out more about the function of natural bioactive compounds. Actinomycetes, as extremophile microorganisms, have shown the greatest genomic and metabolic diversity, as such the discovery of the novel Actinomycetes as a source of secondary metabolites is essential.


Mildrexler D, Zhao M, Running SW. Where are the hottest spots on earth?. EOS 2006; 87: 461-467.

Berdy J. Bioactive microbial metabolites. J Antibiot (Tokyo) 2005; 58(1): 1-26.

Nagy ML, Perez A, Garcia-Pichel F. The prokaryotic diversity of biological soil crusts in the Sonoran Desert (organ pipe cactus nationalmonument,az). FEMS Microbiol Ecol 2005; 54: 233-245.

Boudjella H, Bouti K, Zitouni A, Matthieu F, Labrihi A, Sabaou N. Taxonomy and chemical characterization of antibiotics of Streptosporangium sg 10 isolated from a Saharan soil. Microbiol Res 2006; 161: 288-298.

Chanal A, Chapon V, Benzerara K, Barakat M, Christen R, Achouak W, et al. The desert of Tataouine: an extreme environment that hosts a wide diversity of microorganisms and radiotolerant bacteria. Environ Microbiol 2006; 8: 514-525.

Okoro CK, Brown R, Jones AL, Andrews BA, Asenjo JA, Goodfellow M, et al. Diversity of culturable actinomycetes in hyper-arid soils of the Atacama Desert, Chile. Antonie Van Leeuwenhoek 2009; 95: 121-123.

Maleki H, Mashinchian O. Characterization of Streptomyces isolates with UV, FTIR Spectroscopy and HPLC Analyses. Bioimpacts 2011; 1: 47-52.

Mohammadipanah F, Wink J. Actinobacteria from arid and desert habitats: diversity and biological activity. Front Microbiol 2016; 6: 1541.

Goodfellow M, Kampfer P, Busse HJ, Trujillo M, Ludwig W, Suzuki K (2012). Bergey's Manual of Systematic Bacteriology: Volume 5: The Actinobacteria. 2end ed. Springer Science and Business Media. Germany.

Genilloud O, Gonzalez I, Salazar O, Martin J, Tormo JR, Vicente F. Current approaches to exploit actinomycetes as a source of novel natural products. J Ind Microbiol Biotechnol 2011; 38: 375-389.

Berdy J (2015). Microorganisms producing antibiotics. In: Antibiotics–Current Innovations and Future Trends. Ed, S Sanchezand AL Demain. Caister Academic Press, Norfolk, pp. 49-64.

Anderson RJ, Roberge M (2005). HTI-286, a synthetic analog of the antimitotic natural product hemiasterlin. In: Anticancer Agents from Natural Products. Ed, GM Cragg, DGI Kingston, DJ Newman. Taylor & Francis.

Mann J. Natural products as immunosuppressive agents. Nat Prod Rep 2001; 18: 417-430.

Subramani R, Aalbersberg W. Marine actinomycetes: An ongoing source of novel bioactive metabolites. Microbiol Res 2012; 167: 571-580.

Harwani D. Biodiversity of rare thermophilic actinomycetes in the great Indian Thar desert: an overview. Indo Am J Pharmaceu Res 2013; 3: 934-939.

AOAC (2003). Official Method of Analysis. 17th ed. AOAC Press. Gaithersburg, USA.

Hayakawa M, Nonomura H. Humic acid-vitamins agar, a new medium for the selective isolation of soil actinomycetes. J Ferment Technol 1987; 65: 501-509.

Kuster E, Williams ST. Selection of media for isolation of streptomycetes. Nature 1964; 202: 928-929.

Vickers JC, Williams ST, Ross GW (1984). A taxonomic approach to selective isolation of streptomycetes from soil. In: Biological, biochemical and biomedical aspects of Actinomycetes. Ed, L Ortiz-Ortiz, LF Bojalil, V Yakoleff. Academic Press, Orlando, pp. 553-561.

Athlaye M, Lacey J, Goodfellow M. Selective isolation and enumeration of Actinomycetes using rifamycin. J Appl Bacteriol 1981; 51: 289-297.

Monciardini P, Sosio M, Cavaletti L, Chiocchini C, Donadio S. New PCR primers for the selective amplification of 16S rDNA from different groups of actinomycetes. FEMS Microbiol Ecol 2002; 42: 419-429.

Roy U, Batish VK, Grover S, Neelakantan S. Production of antifungal substance by Lactococcus lactis subps. lactis CHD-28.3. Int J Food Microbiol 1996; 32(1-2): 27-34.

Ahn C, Stiles ME. Antibacterial activity of lactic acid bacteria isolated from vacuum-packaged meat. J Appl Microbiol 1990; 69: 302-310.

Casey J, O'Cleirigh C, Walsh P, Oshea D. Development of a robust microtiter plate-based assay method for assessment of bioactivity. J Microbiol Methods 2004; 58: 327-334.

Guinto DF, XU ZH, House APN, Saffigna, PG. Soil chemical properties and forest floor nutrient under repeated prescribed burning in eucalypt forests of south-east Queensland, Australia. New Zeal J For Sci 2001; 31: 170-187.

Drees KP, Neilsen JW, Bentacourt J, Quade J, Henderson DA, Pryor BM, et al. Bacterial community structure in the hyperarid core of the Atacama Desert, Chile. Appl Environ Microbiol 2006; 72: 7902-7908.

Neilson J, Quade J, Ortiz M, Nelson W, Legatzki A, Tian F, et al. Life at the hyperarid margin: novel bacterial diversity in arid soils of the Atacama Desert, Chile. Extremophiles 2012; 16: 553-566.

Connon SA, Lester ED, Shafaat HS, Obenhuber DC, Ponce A. Bacterial diversity in hyperarid Atacama Desert soils. J Geophys Res 2007; 112(G4): 4-17.

Lester ED, Satoini M, Ponce A. Microflora of extreme arid Atacama Desert soils. Soil Biol Biochem 2007; 39: 704-708.

Rin Bagaly D (2006). MSc Thesis. B.S., Louisiana State University. Uncovering bacterial diversity on and below the surface of a hyper-arid environment, the Atacama Desert, Chile.

Rousk J, Brookes PC, Baath E. Contrasting Soil pH effects on fungal and bacterial growth suggest functional redundancy in carbon mineralization. Appl Environ Microbiol 2009; 75: 1589-1596.

Kurapova AI, Zenova GM, Studnitsyn II, Kizilova AK, Manucharova NA, Norovsuren ZH, et al. Thermotolerant and thermophilic actinomycetes from soils of Mongolia desert steppe zone. Microbiology 2012; 81: 98-108.

McKay CP, Freedman EI, Go´mez-Silva B, Ca´ceres-Villanueva L, Andersen DT, Landheim R. Temperature and moisture conditions for life in the extreme arid region of the Atacama Desert: four years of observation including the El Nino of 1997-1998. Astrobiology 2003; 3: 393-406.

Navarro-Gonzalez R, Rainey F, Molina P, Bagaley DR, Hollen BJ, Rosa J, et al. Mars-like soils in the Atacama Desert, Chile and the dry limit of microbial life. Science 2003; 302(5647): 1018-1021.

Kampfer P (2011). Genus Streptomyces Waksman and Henrichi 1943. In: Bergey’s Manual of Systematic Bacteriology. Ed, M Goodfellow, P Kämpfer, HJ Bune, M Trydilo, KE Suzuki, W Ludwing, WBW Hilman. 2nd ed. Spinger, USA.

Hozzein WN, Rabie W, Ali MIA. Screening the Egyptian desert Actinomycetes as candidates for new antimicrobial compounds and identification of a new desert Streptomyces strain. Afr J Biotechnol 2011; 10: 2295-2301.

Matsumoto A, Takahashi Y. Endophytic Actinomycetes: promising source of novel bioactive compounds. J Antibiot (Tokyo) 2017; 70: 514-519.

Azerang P, Sardari S. Bioactive compound produced from Actinomycetes- Streptomyces. Nov Appro Drug Des Dev 2017; 1(3): 1-2.

How to Cite
Mazkour S, Hosseinzadeh S, Shekarforoush SS. Evidence of heat-resistant microorganisms with a special emphasis on filamentous Actinomycetes in hyper-arid soils of Gandom Beryan area, Lut Desert, Iran. IJM. 9(6):331-7.
Original Article(s)