Isolation and Characterization of Actinomycetes from the Soil of Devathanam A Foot-hill of Western Ghats
Actinobacteria are well known as secondary metabolites producers and hence of high pharmacological and commercial interest. In this study, soil samples were collected from Devathanam, a small town situated at the foothills of Western Ghats of Virudhunagar District, India and tests were performed to assess the presence of Actinomycetes and their morphology and biochemical activities. Nearly fifteen Actinomycetes have been isolated from site of Devathanam. Among which only seven designated as AC1, AC2, AC3, AC4, AC5, AC6, AC7 were subjected to morphological and biochemical characterization for their identity. The morphological characteristics were studied by Gram staining technique. The isolates showed spiral, coiled and rod shaped spores with branched mycelium resembling the genus Streptomyces. Actinomycete isolates were subjected to the biochemical tests like hydrolysis of starch and casein hydrolysis by the activity of amylase and caseinase. The antibacterial activity of the Actinomycetes isolates was studied by giant colony technique and well plate method. Most of the isolates showed strong antibacterial activity against gram positive and negative bacteria. It is concluded that the soil of Devathanam harbors a variety of actinomycetes, which can be used up for further investigation.