April 21, 2020  |  

Genome mining identifies cepacin as a plant-protective metabolite of the biopesticidal bacterium Burkholderia ambifaria.

Beneficial microorganisms are widely used in agriculture for control of plant pathogens, but a lack of efficacy and safety information has limited the exploitation of multiple promising biopesticides. We applied phylogeny-led genome mining, metabolite analyses and biological control assays to define the efficacy of Burkholderia ambifaria, a naturally beneficial bacterium with proven biocontrol properties but potential pathogenic risk. A panel of 64 B.?ambifaria strains demonstrated significant antimicrobial activity against priority plant pathogens. Genome sequencing, specialized metabolite biosynthetic gene cluster mining and metabolite analysis revealed an armoury of known and unknown pathways within B.?ambifaria. The biosynthetic gene cluster responsible for the production of the metabolite cepacin was identified and directly shown to mediate protection of germinating crops against Pythium damping-off disease. B.?ambifaria maintained biopesticidal protection and overall fitness in the soil after deletion of its third replicon, a non-essential plasmid associated with virulence in Burkholderia?cepacia complex bacteria. Removal of the third replicon reduced B.?ambifaria persistence in a murine respiratory infection model. Here, we show that by using interdisciplinary phylogenomic, metabolomic and functional approaches, the mode of action of natural biological control agents related to pathogens can be systematically established to facilitate their future exploitation.


April 21, 2020  |  

Complete genome sequence unveiled cellulose degradation enzymes and secondary metabolic potentials in Streptomyces sp. CC0208.

Marine Streptomyces sp. CC0208 isolated from the Bohai Bay showed high efficiency of cellulose degradation under optimized fermentation parameters. Also, as one of the bioinformatics-based approaches for the discovery of novel natural product and enzyme effectively, genome mining has been developed and applied widely. Herein, we reported the complete genome sequence of Streptomyces sp. CC0208.Whole-genome sequencing analysis revealed a genome size of 9,325,981?bp with a linear chromosome, GC content of 70.59% and 8487 protein-coding genes. Abundant genes have predicted functions in antibiotic metabolism and enzymes. A 20 enzymes closely associated with cellulose degradation were discovered. A total of 25 biosynthetic gene clusters (BGCs) of secondary metabolites were identified, including diverse classes of natural products. The availability of genome sequence of Streptomyces sp. CC0208 not only will assist in cracking the mechanism of cellulose degradation but also will provide the insights into the significant secondary metabolic potentials for the production of diverse compound classes based on rational strategies. © 2018 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.


September 22, 2019  |  

Interpreting microbial biosynthesis in the genomic age: Biological and practical considerations.

Genome mining has become an increasingly powerful, scalable, and economically accessible tool for the study of natural product biosynthesis and drug discovery. However, there remain important biological and practical problems that can complicate or obscure biosynthetic analysis in genomic and metagenomic sequencing projects. Here, we focus on limitations of available technology as well as computational and experimental strategies to overcome them. We review the unique challenges and approaches in the study of symbiotic and uncultured systems, as well as those associated with biosynthetic gene cluster (BGC) assembly and product prediction. Finally, to explore sequencing parameters that affect the recovery and contiguity of large and repetitive BGCs assembled de novo, we simulate Illumina and PacBio sequencing of the Salinispora tropica genome focusing on assembly of the salinilactam (slm) BGC.


September 22, 2019  |  

Complete genome sequence of Geobacillus thermodenitrificans T12, a potential host for biotechnological applications.

In attempt to obtain a thermophilic host for the conversion of lignocellulose derived substrates into lactic acid, Geobacillus thermodenitrificans T12 was isolated from a compost heap. It was selected from over 500 isolates as a genetically tractable hemicellulolytic lactic acid producer, requiring little nutrients. The strain is able to ferment glucose and xylose simultaneously and can produce lactic acid from xylan, making it a potential host for biotechnological applications. The genome of strain T12 consists of a 3.64 Mb chromosome and two plasmids of 59 and 56 kb. It has a total of 3.676 genes with an average genomic GC content of 48.7%. The T12 genome encodes a denitrification pathway, allowing for anaerobic respiration. The identity and localization of the responsible genes are similar to those of the denitrification pathways found in strain NG80-2. The hemicellulose utilization (HUS) locus was identified based on sequence homology against G. stearothermophilus T-6. It appeared that T12 has all the genes that are present in strain T-6 except for the arabinan degradation cluster. Instead, the HUS locus of strain T12 contains genes for both an inositol and a pectate degradation pathway. Strain T12 has complete pathways for the synthesis of purine and pyrimidine, all 20 amino acids and several vitamins except D-biotin. The host-defense systems present comprise a Type II and a Type III restriction-modification system, as well as a CRISPR-Cas Type II system. It is concluded that G. thermodenitrificans T12 is a potentially interesting candidate for industrial applications.


September 22, 2019  |  

Identification of the biosynthetic pathway for the antibiotic bicyclomycin.

Diketopiperazines (DKPs) make up a large group of natural products with diverse structures and biological activities. Bicyclomycin is a broad-spectrum DKP antibiotic with unique structure and function: it contains a highly oxidized bicyclic [4.2.2] ring and is the only known selective inhibitor of the bacterial transcription termination factor, Rho. Here, we identify the biosynthetic gene cluster for bicyclomycin containing six iron-dependent oxidases. We demonstrate that the DKP core is made by a tRNA-dependent cyclodipeptide synthase, and hydroxylations on two unactivated sp(3) carbons are performed by two mononuclear iron, a-ketoglutarate-dependent hydroxylases. Using bioinformatics, we also identify a homologous gene cluster prevalent in a human pathogen Pseudomonas aeruginosa. We detect bicyclomycin by overexpressing this gene cluster and establish P. aeruginosa as a new producer of bicyclomycin. Our work uncovers the biosynthetic pathway for bicyclomycin and sheds light on the intriguing oxidation chemistry that converts a simple DKP into a powerful antibiotic.


September 22, 2019  |  

Identification of the streptothricin and tunicamycin biosynthetic gene clusters by genome mining in Streptomyces sp. strain fd1-xmd.

The genus Streptomyces have been highly regarded for their important source of natural products. Combined with the technology of genome sequencing and mining, we could identify the active ingredients from fermentation broth quickly. Here, we report on Streptomyces sp. strain fd1-xmd, which was isolated from a soil sample collected in Shanghai. Interestingly, the fermentation broth derived from this strain demonstrated broad-spectrum antimicrobial activity against gram-positive bacteria, gram-negative bacteria, and eukaryotes. To identify the antimicrobial substances and their biosynthetic gene clusters, we sequenced the fd1-xmd strain and obtained a genome 7,929,999 bp in length. The average GC content of the chromosome was 72.5 mol%. Knockout experiments demonstrated that out of eight biosynthetic gene clusters we could identify, two are responsible for the biosynthesis of the antibiotics streptothricin (ST) and tunicamycin (TM). The ST biosynthetic gene cluster from fd1-xmd was verified via successful heterologous expression in Streptomyces coelicolor M1146. ST production had a yield of up to 0.5 g/L after the optimization of culture conditions. This study describes a novel producer of ST and TM and outlines the complete process undertaken for Streptomyces sp. strain fd1-xmd genome mining.


September 22, 2019  |  

In silico exploration of Red Sea Bacillus genomes for natural product biosynthetic gene clusters.

The increasing spectrum of multidrug-resistant bacteria is a major global public health concern, necessitating discovery of novel antimicrobial agents. Here, members of the genus Bacillus are investigated as a potentially attractive source of novel antibiotics due to their broad spectrum of antimicrobial activities. We specifically focus on a computational analysis of the distinctive biosynthetic potential of Bacillus paralicheniformis strains isolated from the Red Sea, an ecosystem exposed to adverse, highly saline and hot conditions.We report the complete circular and annotated genomes of two Red Sea strains, B. paralicheniformis Bac48 isolated from mangrove mud and B. paralicheniformis Bac84 isolated from microbial mat collected from Rabigh Harbor Lagoon in Saudi Arabia. Comparing the genomes of B. paralicheniformis Bac48 and B. paralicheniformis Bac84 with nine publicly available complete genomes of B. licheniformis and three genomes of B. paralicheniformis, revealed that all of the B. paralicheniformis strains in this study are more enriched in nonribosomal peptides (NRPs). We further report the first computationally identified trans-acyltransferase (trans-AT) nonribosomal peptide synthetase/polyketide synthase (PKS/ NRPS) cluster in strains of this species.B. paralicheniformis species have more genes associated with biosynthesis of antimicrobial bioactive compounds than other previously characterized species of B. licheniformis, which suggests that these species are better potential sources for novel antibiotics. Moreover, the genome of the Red Sea strain B. paralicheniformis Bac48 is more enriched in modular PKS genes compared to B. licheniformis strains and other B. paralicheniformis strains. This may be linked to adaptations that strains surviving in the Red Sea underwent to survive in the relatively hot and saline ecosystems.


September 22, 2019  |  

Isolation and characterization of Bacillus sp. GFP-2, a novel Bacillus strain with antimicrobial activities, from Whitespotted bamboo shark intestine.

The abuse of antibiotics and following rapidly increasing of antibiotic-resistant pathogens is the serious threat to our society. Natural products from microorganism are regarded as the important substitution antimicrobial agents of antibiotics. We isolated a new strain, Bacillus sp. GFP-2, from the Chiloscyllium plagiosum (Whitespotted bamboo shark) intestine, which showed great inhibitory effects on the growth of both Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria. Additionally, the growth of salmon was effectively promoted when fed with inactivated strain GFP-2 as the inhibition agent of pathogenic bacteria. The genes encoding antimicrobial peptides like LCI, YFGAP and hGAPDH and gene clusters for secondary metabolites and bacteriocins, such as difficidin, bacillibactin, bacilysin, surfactin, butirosin, macrolactin, bacillaene, fengycin, lanthipeptides and LCI, were predicted in the genome of Bacillus sp. GFP-2, which might be expressed and contribute to the antimicrobial activities of this strain. The gene encoding ß-1,3-1,4-glucanase was successfully cloned from the genome and this protein was detected in the culture supernatant of Bacillus sp. GFP-2 by the antibody produced in rabbit immunized with the recombinant ß-1,3-1,4-glucanase, indicating that this strain could express ß-1,3-1,4-glucanase, which might partially contribute to its antimicrobial activities. This study can enhance a better understanding of the mechanism of antimicrobial activities in genus Bacillus and provide a useful material for the biotechnology study in antimicrobial agent development.


September 22, 2019  |  

Genome mining of the marine actinomycete Streptomyces sp. DUT11 and discovery of tunicamycins as anti-complement agents.

Marine actinobacteria are potential producers of various secondary metabolites with diverse bioactivities. Among various bioactive compounds, anti-complement agents have received great interest for drug discovery to treat numerous diseases caused by inappropriate activation of the human complement system. However, marine streptomycetes producing anti-complement agents are still poorly explored. In this study, a marine-derived strain Streptomyces sp. DUT11 showing superior anti-complement activity was focused, and its genome sequence was analyzed. Gene clusters showing high similarities to that of tunicamycin and nonactin were identified, and their corresponding metabolites were also detected. Subsequently, tunicamycin I, V, and VII were isolated from Streptomyces sp. DUT11. Anti-complement assay showed that tunicamycin I, V, VII inhibited complement activation through the classic pathway, whereas no anti-complement activity of nonactin was detected. This is the first time that tunicamycins are reported to have such activity. In addition, genome analysis indicates that Streptomyces sp. DUT11 has the potential to produce novel lassopeptides and lantibiotics. These results suggest that marine Streptomyces are rich sources of anti-complement agents for drug discovery.


September 22, 2019  |  

Genome mining for fungal polyketide-diterpenoid hybrids: discovery of key terpene cyclases and multifunctional P450s for structural diversification

A biosynthetic gene cluster for chevalone E (1) and its oxidized derivatives have been identified within the genome of the endophytic fungus Aspergillus versicolor 0312, by a mining strategy targeting a polyke- tide-diterpenoid hybrid molecule. The biosynthetic pathway has been successfully reconstituted in the heterologous fungus Aspergillus oryzae. Interestingly, two P450 monooxygenases, Cle2 and Cle4, were found to transform 1 into seven new analogues including 7 and 8 that possess a unique five-membered lactone ring. Furthermore, the replacement of the terpene cyclase gene with that from another fungus led to the production of sartorypyrone D (11), which has a monocyclic terpenoid moiety. Finally, some of the compounds obtained in this study synergistically enhanced the cytotoxicity of doxorubicin (DOX) in breast cancer cells.


July 19, 2019  |  

Combining mass spectrometric metabolic profiling with genomic analysis: a powerful approach for discovering natural products from cyanobacteria.

An innovative approach was developed for the discovery of new natural products by combining mass spectrometric metabolic profiling with genomic analysis and resulted in the discovery of the columbamides, a new class of di- and trichlorinated acyl amides with cannabinomimetic activity. Three species of cultured marine cyanobacteria, Moorea producens 3L, Moorea producens JHB, and Moorea bouillonii PNG, were subjected to genome sequencing and analysis for their recognizable biosynthetic pathways, and this information was then compared with their respective metabolomes as detected by MS profiling. By genome analysis, a presumed regulatory domain was identified upstream of several previously described biosynthetic gene clusters in two of these cyanobacteria, M. producens 3L and M. producens JHB. A similar regulatory domain was identified in the M. bouillonii PNG genome, and a corresponding downstream biosynthetic gene cluster was located and carefully analyzed. Subsequently, MS-based molecular networking identified a series of candidate products, and these were isolated and their structures rigorously established. On the basis of their distinctive acyl amide structure, the most prevalent metabolite was evaluated for cannabinomimetic properties and found to be moderate affinity ligands for CB1.


July 19, 2019  |  

Biosynthesis of the novel macrolide antibiotic anthracimycin.

We report the identification of the biosynthetic gene cluster for the unusual antibiotic anthracimycin (atc) from the marine derived producer strain Streptomyces sp. T676 isolated off St. John’s Island, Singapore. The 53?253 bps atc locus includes a trans-acyltransferase (trans-AT) polyketide synthase (PKS), and heterologous expression in Streptomyces coelicolor resulted in anthracimycin production. Analysis of the atc cluster revealed that anthracimycin is likely generated by four PKS gene products AtcC-AtcF without involvement of post-PKS tailoring enzymes, and a biosynthetic pathway is proposed. The availability of the atc cluster provides a basis for investigating the biosynthesis of anthracimycin and its subsequent bioengineering to provide novel analogues with improved pharmacological properties.


July 19, 2019  |  

Genome-directed lead discovery: biosynthesis, structure elucidation, and biological evaluation of two families of polyene macrolactams against Trypanosoma brucei.

Marine natural products are an important source of lead compounds against many pathogenic targets. Herein, we report the discovery of lobosamides A-C from a marine actinobacterium, Micromonospora sp., representing three new members of a small but growing family of bacterially produced polyene macrolactams. The lobosamides display growth inhibitory activity against the protozoan parasite Trypanosoma brucei (lobosamide A IC50 = 0.8 µM), the causative agent of human African trypanosomiasis (HAT). The biosynthetic gene cluster of the lobosamides was sequenced and suggests a conserved cluster organization among the 26-membered macrolactams. While determination of the relative and absolute configurations of many members of this family is lacking, the absolute configurations of the lobosamides were deduced using a combination of chemical modification, detailed spectroscopic analysis, and bioinformatics. We implemented a “molecules-to-genes-to-molecules” approach to determine the prevalence of similar clusters in other bacteria, which led to the discovery of two additional macrolactams, mirilactams A and B from Actinosynnema mirum. These additional analogs have allowed us to identify specific structure-activity relationships that contribute to the antitrypanosomal activity of this class. This approach illustrates the power of combining chemical analysis and genomics in the discovery and characterization of natural products as new lead compounds for neglected disease targets.


July 19, 2019  |  

Next generation sequencing of Actinobacteria for the discovery of novel natural products.

Like many fields of the biosciences, actinomycete natural products research has been revolutionised by next-generation DNA sequencing (NGS). Hundreds of new genome sequences from actinobacteria are made public every year, many of them as a result of projects aimed at identifying new natural products and their biosynthetic pathways through genome mining. Advances in these technologies in the last five years have meant not only a reduction in the cost of whole genome sequencing, but also a substantial increase in the quality of the data, having moved from obtaining a draft genome sequence comprised of several hundred short contigs, sometimes of doubtful reliability, to the possibility of obtaining an almost complete and accurate chromosome sequence in a single contig, allowing a detailed study of gene clusters and the design of strategies for refactoring and full gene cluster synthesis. The impact that these technologies are having in the discovery and study of natural products from actinobacteria, including those from the marine environment, is only starting to be realised. In this review we provide a historical perspective of the field, analyse the strengths and limitations of the most relevant technologies, and share the insights acquired during our genome mining projects.


July 7, 2019  |  

The Streptomyces leeuwenhoekii genome: de novo sequencing and assembly in single contigs of the chromosome, circular plasmid pSLE1 and linear plasmid pSLE2.

Next Generation DNA Sequencing (NGS) and genome mining of actinomycetes and other microorganisms is currently one of the most promising strategies for the discovery of novel bioactive natural products, potentially revealing novel chemistry and enzymology involved in their biosynthesis. This approach also allows rapid insights into the biosynthetic potential of microorganisms isolated from unexploited habitats and ecosystems, which in many cases may prove difficult to culture and manipulate in the laboratory. Streptomyces leeuwenhoekii (formerly Streptomyces sp. strain C34) was isolated from the hyper-arid high-altitude Atacama Desert in Chile and shown to produce novel polyketide antibiotics.Here we present the de novo sequencing of the S. leeuwenhoekii linear chromosome (8 Mb) and two extrachromosomal replicons, the circular pSLE1 (86 kb) and the linear pSLE2 (132 kb), all in single contigs, obtained by combining Pacific Biosciences SMRT (PacBio) and Illumina MiSeq technologies. We identified the biosynthetic gene clusters for chaxamycin, chaxalactin, hygromycin A and desferrioxamine E, metabolites all previously shown to be produced by this strain (J Nat Prod, 2011, 74:1965) and an additional 31 putative gene clusters for specialised metabolites. As well as gene clusters for polyketides and non-ribosomal peptides, we also identified three gene clusters encoding novel lasso-peptides.The S. leeuwenhoekii genome contains 35 gene clusters apparently encoding the biosynthesis of specialised metabolites, most of them completely novel and uncharacterised. This project has served to evaluate the current state of NGS for efficient and effective genome mining of high GC actinomycetes. The PacBio technology now permits the assembly of actinomycete replicons into single contigs with >99 % accuracy. The assembled Illumina sequence permitted not only the correction of omissions found in GC homopolymers in the PacBio assembly (exacerbated by the high GC content of actinomycete DNA) but it also allowed us to obtain the sequences of the termini of the chromosome and of a linear plasmid that were not assembled by PacBio. We propose an experimental pipeline that uses the Illumina assembled contigs, in addition to just the reads, to complement the current limitations of the PacBio sequencing technology and assembly software.


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