Natural products from anaerobes

  • Jeffrey S. Li
  • Colin Charles Barber
  • Wenjun Zhang
Natural Products - Original Paper


Natural product discovery in the microbial world has historically been biased toward aerobes. Recent in silico analysis demonstrates that genomes of anaerobes encode unexpected biosynthetic potential for natural products, however, chemical data on natural products from the anaerobic world are extremely limited. Here, we review the current body of work on natural products isolated from strictly anaerobic microbes, including recent genome mining efforts to discover polyketides and non-ribosomal peptides from anaerobes. These known natural products of anaerobes have demonstrated interesting molecular scaffolds, biosynthetic logic, and/or biological activities, making anaerobes a promising reservoir for future natural product discovery.


Secondary metabolite Anaerobic organism Genome mining Antibiotic 



This work was financially supported by the Energy Biosciences Institute, Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, the National Institutes of Health (DP2AT009148), and the Chan Zuckerberg Biohub Investigator Program.


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Copyright information

© Society for Industrial Microbiology and Biotechnology 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Chemical and Biomolecular EngineeringUniversity of California BerkeleyBerkeleyUSA
  2. 2.Department of Plant and Microbial BiologyUniversity of California BerkeleyBerkeleyUSA
  3. 3.Chan Zuckerberg BiohubSan FranciscoUSA

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