The soil environment is a vast reservoir that harbours microorganisms that represent virtually all the microbial groups including actinomycetes. An investigation was carried out to determine the species of antibiotic-producing actinomycetes found in the soil environment of Keffi Metropolis, Nasarawa State, Nigeria. Soil samples were obtained from ten different locations of Keffi town for the isolation of actinomycetes. Eight species belonging to two genera were isolated from the soil samples and these include Actinomyces israelii, Actinomyces viscosus, Streptomyces antibioticus, Streptomyces aureofiens, Streptomyces caespitosus, Streptomyces exfoliatus, Streptomyces griseus and Streptomyces hygroscopicus. All except S. aureofiens were found to have antimicrobial activity against at least one of the four pathogenic organisms tested for sensitivity. The pathogenic organisms tested for sensitivity were Candida albicans, Escherichia coli, Staphylococcus aureus and Pseudomonas aeruginosa. The results of this investigation revealed that species of antibiotic-producing actinomycetes are found in the soil environment of Keffi Metropolis, and these could be harnessed for the industrial production of novel antibiotics.
Key words: Antibiotic-producing actinomycetes, soil, Keffi, Nigeria
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