Strain-Level Diversity of Secondary Metabolism in <i>Streptomyces albus</i>

2015-01-30T03:09:53Z (GMT) by Ryan F. Seipke
<div><p><i>Streptomyces</i> spp. are robust producers of medicinally-, industrially- and agriculturally-important small molecules. Increased resistance to antibacterial agents and the lack of new antibiotics in the pipeline have led to a renaissance in natural product discovery. This endeavor has benefited from inexpensive high quality DNA sequencing technology, which has generated more than 140 genome sequences for taxonomic type strains and environmental <i>Streptomyces</i> spp. isolates. Many of the sequenced streptomycetes belong to the same species. For instance, <i>Streptomyces albus</i> has been isolated from diverse environmental niches and seven strains have been sequenced, consequently this species has been sequenced more than any other streptomycete, allowing valuable analyses of strain-level diversity in secondary metabolism. Bioinformatics analyses identified a total of 48 unique biosynthetic gene clusters harboured by <i>Streptomyces albus</i> strains. Eighteen of these gene clusters specify the core secondary metabolome of the species. Fourteen of the gene clusters are contained by one or more strain and are considered auxiliary, while 16 of the gene clusters encode the production of putative strain-specific secondary metabolites. Analysis of <i>Streptomyces albus</i> strains suggests that each strain of a <i>Streptomyces</i> species likely harbours at least one strain-specific biosynthetic gene cluster. Importantly, this implies that deep sequencing of a species will not exhaust gene cluster diversity and will continue to yield novelty.</p></div>