Universiteit Leiden

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Proefschrift

Volatile compounds from Actinobacteria as mediators of microbial interactions

Streptomyces are bacteria abundant in soil that participate in diverse and complex interactions. These bacteria are the main producers of the antibiotics we currently use in the clinic.

Auteur
Avalos, Garcia; M.
Datum
24 september 2019
Links
Thesis in Leiden Repository

Streptomyces are bacteria abundant in soil that participate in diverse and complex interactions. These bacteria are the main producers of the antibiotics we currently use in the clinic. Streptomyces are also prolific producers of volatile compounds (VCs) that due to their low molecular weight and vapor pressure can easily travel and distribute through air, water and soil pores. The volatile character of such molecules could suggest that they participate in “long-distance” interactions. This dissertation studies the diversity and functions of VCs produced by Streptomyces. The experiments described here show that even very small VCs such as ammonia can act as antibiotics if they are produced in sufficiently large quantities. it also shows how the perceiver bacteria reacts and responds to antibiotic VCs. The role of other volatile compounds such as terpenes was also studied, in particular 2-methylisoborneol and geosmin. These terpene compounds are highly conserved among Streptomyces and hence may have an important role in the biology of these bacteria. This work includes some results on the possible role of these molecules and opens research questions about the possible regulatory mechanisms for the production of these compounds.

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