The type genus of the Streptomycetaceae family of which includes Streptomyces, the largest family of Actinobacteria, contains a long list of antibacterial, antiparasitic and antifungal agents such as natamycin – which is also known as Streptomyces natalensis or pimaricin.
Today, the list of bacteria belonging to the Streptomycetaceae genus is more than 500 species long, and their main characteristic is their high content of GC (the percentage of nitrogenous bases on a DNA or RNA molecule that are either guanine or cytosine).
This type of bacteria also have a complex secondary metabolism and can mostly be found in soil and vegetation. They reproduce through spores and can be distinguished by their characteristic earthy smell, which is a result of their natural production of geosmin, a volatile metabolite.
The Streptomyces are responsible for producing over two-thirds of antibiotics and antifungal agents of natural origin. Their clinical usefulness is also widely acknowledged, thanks to the properties of a secretion system that is very useful for industrial production – especially those that are antifungal agents, such as natamycin, because of their advantages in food preservation, as a result of their simple form and their ability to enhance the certain processes.
Many of the bacteria belonging to this family can also be applied in the field of medicine and in the pharmaceutical sector, as antifungal, antibacterial and antiparasitic agents for the treatment of some diseases.
If you would like more information about Streptomyces natalensis and its applications, please see the section containing Frequently asked questions about natamycin.