Cyanobacterial natural product synthesis

Natural products, including: toxins, antibiotics, antifungals, etc, have historically been isolated and characterized from heterotrophic bacteria (e.g. Streptomyces). This was primarily due to the ease with which these organisms can be grown and manipulated in the laboratory. Several lines of evidence, however, indicate that cyanobacteria are making secondary metabolites and represent a virtually untapped resource for these compounds. Using a number of strains from the Woods Hole cyanobacterial collection, we are screening for both the synthetic genes (peptide synthetase and polyketide synthase) and the subsequent physiological activities of these compounds. This work not only has pharmacologically relevance, but also through characterizing the biochemistry and regulation of these compounds we will gain increased insight into their ecological role.


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Last updated 09/02