Bioprospecting Red Sea Coastal Ecosystems for Culturable Microorganisms and Their Antimicrobial Potential

Soha Al Amoudi, Magbubah Essack, Marta Simoes, Salim Bougouffa, Irina Soloviev, John A.C. Archer, Feras Fawzi Lafi, Vladimir B. Bajic

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


Microorganisms that inhabit unchartered unique soil such as in the highly saline and hot Red Sea lagoons on the Saudi Arabian coastline, represent untapped sources of potentially new bioactive compounds. In this study, a culture-dependent approach was applied to three types of sediments: mangrove mud (MN), microbial mat (MM), and barren soil (BS), collected from Rabigh harbor lagoon (RHL) and Al-Kharrar lagoon (AKL). The isolated bacteria were evaluated for their potential to produce bioactive compounds. The phylogenetic characterization of 251 bacterial isolates based on the 16S rRNA gene sequencing, supported their assignment to five different phyla: Proteobacteria, Firmicutes, Actinobacteria, Bacteroidetes, and Planctomycetes. Fifteen putative novel species were identified based on a 16S rRNA gene sequence similarity to other strain sequences in the NCBI database, being ≤98%. We demonstrate that 49 of the 251 isolates exhibit the potential to produce antimicrobial compounds. Additionally, at least one type of biosynthetic gene sequence, responsible for the synthesis of secondary metabolites, was recovered from 25 of the 49 isolates. Moreover, 10 of the isolates had a growth inhibition effect towards Staphylococcus aureus, Salmonella typhimurium and Pseudomonas syringae. We report the previously unknown antimicrobial activity of B. borstelensis, P. dendritiformis and M. salipaludis against all three indicator pathogens. Our study demonstrates the evidence of diverse cultured microbes associated with the Red Sea harbor/lagoon environments and their potential to produce antimicrobial compounds.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)165
JournalMarine Drugs
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 10 2016


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