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Paul Meyers | Actinomycete and Antibiotic Research Unit

Research | Publications | Collaborations | Lab members

Dr Paul Meyers | Telephone: +27 21 650 3261 | Facsimile: +27 21 650 1861


We are investigating the diversity of South African actinobacteria as a source of novel antimycobacterial molecules (i.e. bioprospecting for new antibiotics). We are also investigating the diversity of actinobacterial endophytes of indigenous plants. Most of our work is on actinobacterial biodiversity and taxonomy rather than novel antimycobacterial molecules.

We are investigating new DNA sequencing-based tools to improve actinobacterial taxonomy. These efforts include multilocus sequence analysis (MLSA) based on protein-encoding genes (e.g. gyrB, rpoB, recA, atpD and relA), as well as the identification of molecular signatures (amino acid insertions and deletions) in protein-encoding genes. These sequencing tools should help to speed up the process of identifying environmental strains that belong to new actinobacterial species. This is important, as new species (biodiversity) provide access to new secondary metabolites (chemical diversity, e.g. new antibiotics).

Particular interests at present are the genus Kribbella and all the genera in the family Streptosporangiaceae (Acrocarpospora, Herbidospora, Microbispora, Microtetraspora, Nonomuraea, Planobispora, Planomonospora, Planotetraspora, Sphaerimonospora, Sphaerisporangium, Streptosporangium, Thermoactinospora, Thermocatellispora, Thermopolyspora and Thermostaphylospora).

Selected publications
  1. Le Roes-Hill, M., Durrell, K., Prins, A. and Meyers, P. R. (2018) Streptosporangium minutum sp. nov., isolated from garden soil exposed to microwave radiation. Journal of Antibiotics; XXX: 000-000.
  2. Curtis, S. M., Norton, I., Everest G. J. and Meyers, P. R. (2018) Kribbella podocarpi sp. nov., isolated from the leaves of a yellowwood tree (Podocarpus latifolius). Antonie van Leeuwenhoek; XXX: 000-000.
  3. Le Roes-Hill, M., Prins, A. and Meyers, P. R. (2018) Streptomyces swartbergensis sp. nov., a novel tyrosinase- and antibiotic-producing actinobacterium. Antonie van Leeuwenhoek; XXX: 000-000.
  4. Meyers, P. R. (2017) Molecular-signature analyses support the establishment of the actinobacterial genus Sphaerimonospora (Mingma et al. 2016). Systematic and Applied Microbiology; 40: 423-429.
  5. Meyers, P. R. (2015) Analysis of recombinase A (recA/RecA) in the actinobacterial family Streptosporangiaceae and identification of molecular signatures. Systematic and Applied Microbiology; 38: 567-577.
  6. Rohland, J. and Meyers, P. R. (2015) Streptomyces fractus sp. nov., a novel streptomycete isolated from the gut of a South African termite. Antonie van Leeuwenhoek; 107: 1127-1134.
  7. Everest, G. J., Curtis, S. M., De Leo, F., Urzì, C. and Meyers, P. R. (2015) Description of Kribbella italica sp. nov., isolated from a Roman catacomb. International Journal of Systematic and Evolutionary Microbiology; 65: 491-496.
  8. Everest, G. J., Le Roes-Hill, M., Rohland, J., Enslin, S. and Meyers, P. R. (2014) Amycolatopsis roodepoortensis sp. nov. and Amycolatopsis speibonae sp. nov.: antibiotic-producing actinobacteria isolated from South African soils. Journal of Antibiotics; 67: 813-818.
  9. Meyers, P. R. (2014) Gyrase subunit B amino acid signatures for the actinobacterial family Streptosporangiaceae. Systematic and Applied Microbiology; 37: 252-260.

Dr Sunny Sunassee, Department of Chemistry, UCT.
Dr Lubbe Wiesner, Department of Clinical Pharmacology, UCT.

Lab members

Linda Mtwana - M.Sc. | Isolation, identification and characterisation of actinobacteria from a hot-spring in Caledon.

Adeebah Rakiep - M.Sc. | The assessment of actinobacterial biodiversity and antimycobacterial activity in various soil and water sources.