Genome mining of Streptomyces ambofaciens


Since the discovery of the streptomycin produced by Streptomyces griseus in the middle of the last century, members of this bacterial genus have been largely exploited for the production of secondary metabolites with wide uses in medicine and in agriculture. They have even been recognized as one of the most prolific producers of natural products among microorganisms. With the onset of the genomic era, it became evident that these microorganisms still represent a major source for the discovery of novel secondary metabolites. This was highlighted with the complete genome sequencing of Streptomyces coelicolor A3(2) which revealed an unexpected potential of this organism to synthesize natural products undetected until then by classical screening methods. Since then, analysis of sequenced genomes from numerous Streptomyces species has shown that a single species can carry more than 30 secondary metabolite gene clusters, reinforcing the idea that the biosynthetic potential of this bacterial genus is far from being fully exploited. This review highlights our knowledge on the potential of Streptomyces ambofaciens ATCC 23877 to synthesize natural products. This industrial strain was known for decades to only produce the drug spiramycin and another antibacterial compound, congocidine. Mining of its genome allowed the identification of 23 clusters potentially involved in the production of other secondary metabolites. Studies of some of these clusters resulted in the characterization of novel compounds and of previously known compounds but never characterized in this Streptomyces species. In addition, genome mining revealed that secondary metabolite gene clusters of phylogenetically closely related Streptomyces are mainly species-specific.

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This work was supported by the European Community under the ActinoGEN 6th framework programme (FP6-5224), the French National Research Agency through the Laboratory of Excellence ARBRE (ANR-12- LABXARBRE-01) and the Région Lorraine.

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Aigle, B., Lautru, S., Spiteller, D. et al. Genome mining of Streptomyces ambofaciens . J Ind Microbiol Biotechnol 41, 251–263 (2014).

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  • Genome mining
  • Natural products
  • Biosynthetic pathways
  • Streptomyces ambofaciens