Actinomycetes in nature and biotechnology
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This article summarizes the medical, ecological, industrial and biotechnological importance of actinomycetes. At present, according to a new hierarchic classification system, they are the most representative group of Actinobacteria classis nov. These unusual microorganisms with such rich biological activity have had a confusing history and classification for over a hundred years. In this review, following subjects have been raised: important, but less known human, animal and plant pathogens as well as actinomycete-diseases; symbionts as endophytes in nitrogenase activity; agents of biological control; biodeterioration and biodegradation; primary and secondary metabolites including their biological, industrial and biotechnological importance. Additionally, some lipid compounds of cell wall as immunomodifiers have been also mentioned. Actinomycetic activities have always had far-reaching effects, and these are sure to remain in different guises.
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H. Mordarska, Zaklad Immunologii Chorob Zakaznych, Instytut Immunologii i Terapii Doswiadczalnej im. L. Hirszfelda, Polska Akademia Nauk, ul. R. Weigla 12, 53-114 Wroclaw, Poland