By Syed Akbar
Hyderabad: A team of city researchers has discovered a new
bacterium that lives in the soil and has the potential for development
of new antibiotics. The bacterium species belonging to the genus
Streptomyces has been named hyderabadensis in honour of Hyderabad.
The team from the department of botany, Osmania University, has
discovered the new bacterium, Streptomyces hyderabadensis, while
collecting soil samples in the city. It is similar in features to
other Streptomyces species like pactum, olivaceus and parvulus. These
bacterial species yield powerful antibiotics like pactamycin and
Elloramycin, which fight tumours. They are also anti-microbial (fights
germs) and anti-angiogenesis (prevents formation of tumours) in nature.
Earlier, the OU team discovered a similar bacterium from the soil in
the campus of Osmania University. It was named after the university as
Streptomyces osmaniensis. Streptomyces group of bacteria is famous for
its antibiotics potential and the discovery of two species by the OU
team has further boosted the prospects of development of new
medicines, particularly when pathogens are increasingly turning
resistant to existing antibiotics.
The research group comprised TV Reddy, S Mahmood, YH Reddy, EM
Wellington and MM Idris. They analysed the new bacterium for gene
sequences to arrive at the decision that it is a novel strain and
named it after Hyderabad. "It could be distinguished from the type
strains of its closest relatives based on levels of DNA-DNA
relatedness and comparison of morphological and phenotypic data," the
team pointed out.
The bacterial strain named after Osmania university is closely related
to the species Streptomyces chartreusis, which is famous for its
anti-tumour antibiotic chartreusin. Almost 70 per cent of bacteria
belonging to Streptomyces yield antibiotics used for various diseases.
An interesting feature of these bacteria is that they can inhibit
formation of tumours in the body.