New bioactive compounds from environmental microbial resources by an integrated functional (meta)genomics approach

Thursday March 9
Parallel Session 3B: Synthetic biology – Enabling targeted and accelerated production organism development
13:45

New bioactive compounds from environmental microbial resources by an integrated functional (meta)genomics approach

Alexander Wentzel, Senior Researcher
SINTEF, Norway

Research by: Alexander Wentzel, Anna S. Lewin, Anna Nordborg, Giang-Son Nguyen, Kristin F. Degnes, Snorre Sulheim, Tjasa Kumelj, Eivind Almaas, Per Bruheim, Mark R. Liles, Megan Sandoval, Damien Waits, Erasysapp SYSTERACT Consortium, Trond E. Ellingsen & Håvard Sletta

Antibiotic resistance among pathogenic bacteria is a major global threat for human health today. Coincidently, only few new antibiotics have recently reached the market. New strategies for a more rapid discovery of new bioactive compounds for medicinal drug development are required to treat life-threatening bacterial infections in the future.

Addressing this need, we are currently building a new technology platform for the more efficient discovery of novel bioactive compounds with improved prospects for clinical use. A unique national collection of marine microorganisms is used for the development of integrated molecular biology, analytical and screening methods to access efficiently the huge potential of microorganisms for natural product biosynthesis. Central to this effort is the development of the model Actinobacterium Streptomyces coelicolor into a microbial cell factory to produce diverse bioactive compounds from biosynthetic gene clusters of non-cultivable bacteria and cryptic gene clusters of cultivable bacteria not produced under laboratory conditions.