Mycelial differentiation linked avermectin production in Streptomyces avermitilis studied with Raman imaging

Shumpei Horii, Ashok Zachariah Samuel, Takuji Nakashima, Akira Take, Atsuko Matsumoto, Yoko Takahashi, Masahiro Ando, Haruko Takeyama*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Abstract: Streptomyces avermitilis is a gram-positive bacterium that undergoes complex physiological and morphological differentiation during its life cycle, which has implications in secondary metabolite production. Avermectin, produced by S. avermitilis, is widely used as an anthelmintic and insecticidal agent. In this study, we have applied Raman microspectroscopic imaging to elucidate the correlation between production of avermectin and the morphological differentiation in S. avermitilis. We demonstrate distinctive variations in the localization of secondary metabolites at various stages of morphological differentiation. Under solid culture, avermectin was detected in the mycelia formed at the later stages of morphological differentiation (e.g., spore-bearing mycelium and spiral spore chains), but not in the early-stage substrate mycelium. On the contrary, under liquid culture condition, avermectin was found concentrated in the mycelial pellet formed at the early MII stage of differentiation. Furthermore, the chemical profiles of the mycelia were substantially different depending on the culture condition. Raman spectra corresponding to proteins, lipids, and cytochrome were observed in the mycelia irrespective of the stage of morphological differentiation, however, carotenoid was observed under solid culture condition particularly in spore-bearing mycelium and spiral spore chains. Key points: • Avermectin production is regulated during mycelial differentiation • Liquid and solid culture conditions affects mycelial differentiation • Raman microspectroscopic analysis reveals localization profiles of avermectin Graphical Abstract: [Figure not available: see fulltext.].

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)369-378
Number of pages10
JournalApplied Microbiology and Biotechnology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2023 Jan


  • Avermectin
  • Raman microspectroscopy
  • Streptomyces avermitlis
  • Subcellular localization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology


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