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Friday, July 19, 2019

Variable genetic architectures produce virtually identical molecules in bacterial symbionts of fungus-growing ants.

Small molecules produced by Actinobacteria have played a prominent role in both drug discovery and organic chemistry. As part of a larger study of the actinobacterial symbionts of fungus-growing ants, we discovered a small family of three previously unreported piperazic acid-containing cyclic depsipeptides, gerumycins A-C. The gerumycins are slightly smaller versions of dentigerumycin, a cyclic depsipeptide that selectively inhibits a common fungal pathogen, Escovopsis. We had previously identified this molecule from a Pseudonocardia associated with Apterostigma dentigerum, and now we report the molecule from an associate of the more highly derived ant Trachymyrmex cornetzi. The three previously unidentified compounds, gerumycins…

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Friday, July 19, 2019

Genome analysis of the fruiting body forming myxobacterium Chondromyces crocatus reveals high potential for natural product biosynthesis.

Here we report the first complete genome sequence of the type strain of the myxobacterial genus Chondromyces – Chondromyces crocatus Cm c5. It presents one of the largest prokaryotic genomes featuring a single circular chromosome and no plasmids. Analysis revealed an enlarged set of tRNA genes, along with reduced pressure on preferred codon usage compared to other bacterial genomes. The large coding capacity and the plethora of encoded secondary metabolite biosynthetic gene clusters is in line with the capability of Cm c5 to produce an arsenal of anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and cytotoxic compounds. Known pathways of the ajudazol, chondramide, chondrochloren, crocacin,…

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Friday, 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…

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Sunday, July 7, 2019

Nonribosomal peptide synthase gene clusters for lipopeptide biosynthesis in Bacillus subtilis 916 and their phenotypic functions.

Bacillus cyclic lipopeptides (LPs) have been well studied for their phytopathogen-antagonistic activities. Recently, research has shown that these LPs also contribute to the phenotypic features of Bacillus strains, such as hemolytic activity, swarming motility, biofilm formation, and colony morphology. Bacillus subtilis 916 not only coproduces the three families of well-known LPs, i.e., surfactins, bacillomycin Ls (iturin family), and fengycins, but also produces a new family of LP called locillomycins. The genome of B. subtilis 916 contains four nonribosomal peptide synthase (NRPS) gene clusters, srf, bmy, fen, and loc, which are responsible for the biosynthesis of surfactins, bacillomycin Ls, fengycins, and…

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Sunday, July 7, 2019

Gut symbionts from distinct hosts exhibit genotoxic activity via divergent colibactin biosynthetic pathways.

Secondary metabolites produced by nonribosomal peptide synthetase (NRPS) or polyketide synthase (PKS) pathways are chemical mediators of microbial interactions in diverse environments. However, little is known about their distribution, evolution, and functional roles in bacterial symbionts associated with animals. A prominent example is “colibactin”, a largely unknown family of secondary metabolites produced by Escherichia coli via a hybrid NRPS-PKS biosynthetic pathway, inflicting DNA damage upon eukaryotic cells and contributing to colorectal cancer and tumor formation in the mammalian gut. Thus far, homologs of this pathway have only been found in closely related Enterobacteriaceae, while a divergent variant of this gene…

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Sunday, July 7, 2019

Draft genome sequence of Kitasatospora griseola strain MF730-N6, a bafilomycin, terpentecin, and satosporin producer.

We report here the draft genome sequence of Kitasatospora griseola strain MF730-N6, a known producer of bafilomycin, terpentecin, and satosporins. The current assembly comprises 8 contigs covering 7.97 Mb. Genome annotation revealed 7,225 protein coding sequences, 100 tRNAs, 40 rRNA genes, and 23 secondary metabolite biosynthetic gene clusters. Copyright © 2015 Arens et al.

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Sunday, July 7, 2019

Active site and laminarin binding in glycoside hydrolase family 55.

The Carbohydrate Active Enzyme (CAZy) database indicates that glycoside hydrolase family 55 (GH55) contains both endo- and exo-ß-1,3-glucanases. The founding structure in the GH55 is PcLam55A from the white rot fungus Phanerochaete chrysosporium (Ishida, T., Fushinobu, S., Kawai, R., Kitaoka, M., Igarashi, K., and Samejima, M. (2009) Crystal structure of glycoside hydrolase family 55 ß-1,3-glucanase from the basidiomycete Phanerochaete chrysosporium. J. Biol. Chem. 284, 10100-10109). Here, we present high resolution crystal structures of bacterial SacteLam55A from the highly cellulolytic Streptomyces sp. SirexAA-E with bound substrates and product. These structures, along with mutagenesis and kinetic studies, implicate Glu-502 as the catalytic…

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Sunday, July 7, 2019

Complete genome sequence of Rhodococcus sp. B7740, a carotenoid-producing bacterium isolated from the Arctic Sea.

Rhodococcus sp. B7740 was isolated from Arctic seawater and selected for its capacity to synthesize carotenoids. Here, we report the complete genome sequence of Rhodococcus sp. B7740 to provide the genetic basis for a better understanding of its carotenoid-accumulating capabilities, and we describe the major features of the genome. Copyright © 2015 Zhang et al.

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Sunday, July 7, 2019

High-quality draft genome sequence of actinobacterium Kibdelosporangium sp. MJ126-NF4, producer of type II polyketide azicemicins, using Illumina and PacBio Technologies.

Here, we report the high-quality draft genome sequence of actinobacterium Kibdelosporangium sp. MJ126-NF4, producer of the type II polyketide azicemicins, obtained using Illumina and PacBio sequencing technologies. The 11.75-Mbp genome contains >11,000 genes and 22 polyketide and nonribosomal peptide natural product gene clusters. Copyright © 2015 Ogasawara et al.

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Sunday, July 7, 2019

Draft genome sequence of Streptacidiphilus oryzae TH49T, an acidophilic actinobacterium isolated from soil.

The draft genome sequence of Streptacidiphilus oryzae strain TH49(T), an acidophilic actinobacterium, was obtained. The draft is composed of six scaffolds totaling 7.8 Mbp, and it contains 6,829 protein-coding genes and 91 RNA genes. Genes related to respiratory nitrate reduction, siderophore production, and biosynthesis of other secondary metabolites were identified. Copyright © 2015 Kim et al.

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Sunday, 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…

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Sunday, July 7, 2019

Discovery of microbial natural products by activation of silent biosynthetic gene clusters.

Microorganisms produce a wealth of structurally diverse specialized metabolites with a remarkable range of biological activities and a wide variety of applications in medicine and agriculture, such as the treatment of infectious diseases and cancer, and the prevention of crop damage. Genomics has revealed that many microorganisms have far greater potential to produce specialized metabolites than was thought from classic bioactivity screens; however, realizing this potential has been hampered by the fact that many specialized metabolite biosynthetic gene clusters (BGCs) are not expressed in laboratory cultures. In this Review, we discuss the strategies that have been developed in bacteria and…

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Sunday, July 7, 2019

Identification and heterologous expression of the chaxamycin biosynthetic gene cluster from Streptomyces leeuwenhoekii.

Streptomyces leeuwenhoekii, isolated from the hyperarid Atacama Desert, produces the new ansamycin-like compounds chaxamycins A to D, which possess potent antibacterial activity and moderate antiproliferative activity. We report the development of genetic tools to manipulate S. leeuwenhoekii and the identification and partial characterization of the 80.2-kb chaxamycin biosynthesis gene cluster, which was achieved by both mutational analysis in the natural producer and heterologous expression in Streptomyces coelicolor A3(2) strain M1152. Restoration of chaxamycin production in a nonproducing ?cxmK mutant (cxmK encodes 3-amino-5-hydroxybenzoic acid [AHBA] synthase) was achieved by supplementing the growth medium with AHBA, suggesting that mutasynthesis may be a…

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Sunday, July 7, 2019

Identification and structural characterization of naturally-occurring broad-spectrum cyclic antibiotics isolated from Paenibacillus.

The rise of antimicrobial resistance necessitates the discovery and/or production of novel antibiotics. Isolated strains of Paenibacillus alvei were previously shown to exhibit antimicrobial activity against a number of pathogens, such as E. coli, Salmonella, and methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). The responsible antimicrobial compounds were isolated from these Paenibacillus strains and a combination of low and high resolution mass spectrometry with multiple-stage tandem mass spectrometry was used for identification. A group of closely related cyclic lipopeptides was identified, differing primarily by fatty acid chain length and one of two possible amino acid substitutions. Variation in the fatty acid length resulted…

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