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    Sahara is one of the largest deserts in the world. The harsh climatic conditions, especially high temperature and aridity lead to unique adaptation of organisms, which could be a potential source of new metabolites. In this respect, two Saharan soils from El Oued Souf and Beni Abbes in Algeria were collected. The bacterial isolates were selected by screening for antibacterial, antifungal, and enzymatic activities. The whole genomes of the two native Saharan strains were sequenced to study desert Streptomyces microbiology and ecology from a genomic perspective. Strains Babs14 (from Beni Abbes, Algeria) and Osf17 (from El Oued Souf, Algeria) were initially identified by 16S rRNA sequencing as belonging to the Streptomyces genus. The whole genome sequencing of the two strains was performed using Pacific Biosciences Sequel II technology (PacBio), which showed that Babs14 and Osf17 have a linear chromosome of 8.00 Mb and 7.97 Mb, respectively. The number of identified protein coding genes was 6910 in Babs14 and 6894 in Osf17. No plasmids were found in Babs14, whereas three plasmids were detected in Osf17. Although the strains have different phenotypes and are from different regions, they showed very high similarities at the DNA level. The two strains are more similar to each other than either is to the closest database strain. The search for potential secondary metabolites was performed using antiSMASH and predicted 29 biosynthetic gene clusters (BGCs). Several BGCs and proteins were related to the biosynthesis of factors needed in response to environmental stress in temperature, UV light and osmolarity. The genome sequencing of Saharan Streptomyces strains revealed factors that are related to their adaptation to an extreme environment and stress conditions. The genome information provides tools to study ecological adaptation in a desert environment and to explore the bioactive compounds of these microorganisms. The two whole genome sequences are among the first to be sequenced for the Streptomyces genus of Algerian Sahara. The present research was undertaken as a first step to more profoundly explore the desert microbiome. © 2021. The Author(s).


    Chahira Zerouki, Farid Bensalah, Suvi Kuittinen, Ari Pappinen, Ossi Turunen. Whole-genome sequencing of two Streptomyces strains isolated from the sand dunes of Sahara. BMC genomics. 2021 Jul 27;22(1):578

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    PMID: 34315408

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