Actinomycetes which were categorised as beneficial microorganisms have long been studied for their potential in producing secondary metabolites either for pharmaceutical or agricultural industries. In this study, 160 isolates of actinomycetes had been isolated using soil suspension method. All the 160 isolates were later tested for their potential to secrete secondary metabolites such as cellulases, mannanases, xylanases, lipases, proteases and antifungal compounds. Prescreening of the 160 actinomycetes isolates showed that 73.1% of the actinomycetes produces xylanases, 69.4% produces cellulases, 65.0% proteases, 44.4% lipases and 9.4% mannanases. It was also observed that 43.1% (69/160) of actinomycetes showed antagonistic reaction towards Colletotrichum capsici while 18.8% (30/160) showed antagonistic reaction towards Colletotrichum gloeosporioides. Five (5) of the best producers of the bioactive compounds were identified using 16S rRNA primers. All of the isolates were identified to be originated from streptomyces genus. These potential actinomycetes need to be further tested for their application and have their potential fully characterized before being distributed or made known to interested industries.
Key words: Actinomycetes, anthracnose, bioactivity, biodiversity, Malaysia.
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