Microbes from Peat Swamp Forest — The Hidden Reservoir for Secondary Metabolites?


  • Kuan-Shion Ong
  • Vengadesh Letchumanan
  • Jodi Woan-Fei Law
  • Catherine M. Yule
  • Sui-Mae Lee




Antimicrobial resistance is a significant threat to the healthcare sector. For the past century, there has been a decline in the discovery of new antibiotics. This has urged researchers to bio-prospect for new bioactive agents from microbes originating from untapped environments, as well as to explore the potential of other microbial genera apart from the wellknown Streptomyces. Tropical peat swamp forests are an example of such an environment. Two novel antimicrobial-producing bacteria from the genera Burkholderia and Paenibacillus have been identified to produce potent antimicrobials. These two genera of bacteria have recently gained tremendous interest due to their genome complexity. They are known as multifaceted organisms not only because of their genetic content, but also due to their positive interactions with the environment along with a plethora of organisms including plants and animals. The interactions observed are attributed to their genomes and to their production of secondary metabolites including antimicrobials. Hence, this review provides an overview of the nature of tropical peat swamp forests, taxonomy and production of secondary metabolites of both Burkholderia and Paenibacillus, as well as discussing the future perspective of isolating antimicrobial-producing microbes from tropical peat swamp forests.






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