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46th World Congress on Microbiology

Dublin, Ireland

Joachim Wink

Joachim Wink

Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research, Germany

Title: Polyphasic taxonomy – The Class Actinobacteria


Biography: Joachim Wink


Members of the class Actinobacteria plays an important role for humans, on one hand, we have producer of antibiotics, which mainly belong to the so called Sporoactinomycetes like Streptomyces or Amycolatopsis and on the other hand the pathogenic ones like many species of the Mycobacteria and Nocardia. Actinobacteria are typical soil bacteria, but also inhabit many other habitats, so that they could be isolated from different materials. Even their morphology has been used for the characterization for many years; today a number of molecular biological methods are also available for their taxonomic classification. In the 90th of the last century the polyphasic approach for the classification of bacteria was introduced and is also today the way to identify a species of the Actinobacteria. This approach combines the methods of the morphology and physiology, together with the chemotaxonomic methods and the methods of the molecular biological characterization. The wide variety of the morphology of the different Actinobacteria, we find coccoid and rod shaped single cell forming species like in the Micrococcales, as well as, organisms that form mycelia and differentiate with spore chains or sporangia, made it very important for the identification and classification of this bacteria to have a number of methods available. Especially after finding the different morphological features also in different genera and families the chemotaxonomy became very important in the 60th of the last century. The molecular biological characterization methods opened a number of additional tools, but there are many examples that they also cannot stand alone. Aim of the workshop is after a short introduction of the bacterial class to show the different aspects of the polyphasic taxonomy basing on the work of Vandamme et al. with the class Actinobacteria as an example. It will be discussed if the molecular biological characterization will replace morphology and chemotaxonomy.

Recent Publications

  1. Landwehr W, Wolf C, Wink J (2016) Actinobacteria and Myxobacteria – Two of the Most Important Bacterial Resources for Novel Antibiotics. in M. Stadler and P. Dersch (eds.) How to Overcome the Antibiotic Crisis.  Springer. Volume 398 of the series Current Topics in Microbiology and Immunology. 273-302.
  2. Wink J, Schumann P, Klenk HP, Zaburannyi N, Westermann M, Martin K, Glaeser SP, Kämpfer P, Atasayar E (2016) Streptomyces “caelicus" an antibiotic producing species of the genus Streptomyces and Streptomyces canchipurensis Li et al. 2014 are later heterotypic synonym of Streptomyces muensis Ningthoujam et al. 2013. Int J Syst Evol Microbiol. doi: 10.1099/ijsem.0.001612. [Epub ahead of print].
  3. Mohammadipanah, J Wink (2016) Actinobacteria from Arid and Desert Habitats: Diversity and Biological Activity. Front Microbiol 2015 6:1541. doi:  10.3389/fmicb.2015.01541.
  4. Wink J, Schumann P, Spöer C, Eisenbarth K, Glaeser SP, Martin K, Kämpfer P (2014) Emended descriptions of Actinoplanes friuliensis and description of Actinoplanes nipponensis sp. nov., two Antibiotic Producing Species of the Genus Actinoplanes. IJSEM 64:599-606.
  5. Müller R, Wink J (2014) Future potential for anti-infectives from bacteria – How to exploit biodiversity and genomic potential.   IJMM 304:3-13.5.