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Characterisation and Antimicrobial Potential of Actinobacteria Isolated from Momela Soda Lakes, Tanzania

Witness S. Lema
Ally Mahadhy
Modester Damas
Joan J.E. Munissi
Thomas J. Lyimo


Extreme environments such as soda lakes are potential sources of microbes with biotechnological applications in different sectors. This study aimed at isolation, characterization and investigation of antibacterial potential of actinobacteria from Momela Soda Lakes, at Arusha National Park in Tanzania. One hundred and twenty (120) isolates were recovered from soil and water samples using the dilution plate technique. The isolates were morphologically and biochemically characterized, and further, screened for antimicrobial activity by disc diffusion method as well as the micro dilution technique. Cytotoxic effects were determined using the brine shrimp lethality test. Results showed that, all 120 isolates were Gram-positive rod-coccus shaped. Forty-four out of them showed antibacterial activity against Staphylococcus aureus and Escherichia coli. The Streptomyces (101TI) and Dietzia (56BI) strains exhibited exceptionally higher antibacterial activity compared to the rest with inhibition zones of 16.25 and 21.00 mm, respectively. These two strains were toxic against brine shrimp-larvae. Microbacterium (5LI), Hoyosella (113BI), Streptomyces (62BI), Dietzia (117SI), Hoyosella (37SI) and Microbacterium (3BI) strains had low antibacterial and cytotoxic activities. This study therefore revealed that Momela Soda Lakes harbour actinobacteria with antimicrobial potential.

Keywords: Actinobacteria; antimicrobial activity; extremophiles; Momela soda lakes