Antibacterial and Antifungal Activities of Cyanobacterial Strains Isolated from Hot Springs in Oman

Neelam Sherwani1, Raeid M.M. Abed, Sergey Dobretsov, Sheji Mary


In this study, cyanobacterial microbial mats from five hot springs in Oman, namely Al Kasfah Rustaq, Al Thwara Nakhl, Al–Ali Hammam, Gala and Bowsher, were characterized using direct microscopy. Nine monoclonal cyanobacterial cultures were obtained and their extracts in butanol, dichloromethane (DCM) and hexane were screened for antibacterial and antifungal activities. Direct microscopy revealed the presence of 12 different unicellular and filamentous morphotypes, with different distribution in the various mats. Temperature seems to be one of the most important parameters that accounts for the differences in cyanobacterial composition of the mats. Cells of the nine isolates and their aqueous supernatants were subsequently extracted with butanol, DCM and hexane. Dried extracts were tested against nine bacterial (i.e. gram +ve Staphylococcus aureus, Bacillus subtilis and gram –ve, Escherichia coli, Klebsiella pneumoniae, Salmonella choleraesuis, S. enterica, Psuedomonas aeruginosa, Providencia stuartii, and  Acinetobacter calcoaceticus) and two fungal pathogens (Rhizoctonia solani and Pythium sp.). All isolates exhibited antibacterial and antifungal activities, which depended mainly on the type of cyanobacterial culture, type of solvent used and the pathogen tested. The highest antibacterial activity was observed in Phormidium species, and butanol was found to be the most appropriate solvent to extract bioactivity from these cyanobacterial species. The results of this study suggest that thermal springs in Oman harbor diverse types of cyanobacteria, which may constitute an important source of antibacterial and antifungal compounds. Further investigation is needed to purify these compounds and find their chemical compositions and modes of action. 




Cyanobacterial mat; Antibacterial; Antifungal.

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