, Volume 27, Issue 3, pp 149-156

Myxobacteria, producers of novel bioactive substances

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Myxobacteria are soil bacteria that move by gliding and have an astonishing life cycle culminating in fruiting body formation. In a research program at the Gesellshaft für Biotechnologische Forschung over the past 25 years the organisms have been shown to be a rich source of potentially useful secondary metabolites. So far about 80 different basic compounds and 450 structural variants have been characterized. Many of those compounds were new. It is particularly remarkable that myxobacteria specialize in mechanisms of action that are very rare with other producers. Thus 20 new electron transport inhibitors, 10 substances that act on the cytoskeleton, four inhibitors of nucleic acid polymerases, and one inhibitor of fungal acetyl-CoA carboxylase, a novel mechanism of action, have been found. Journal of Industrial Microbiology & Biotechnology (2001) 27, 149–156.

Received 21 September 1999/ Accepted in revised form 19 January 2000