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Title: Genomic insights into the evolution of hybrid isoprenoid biosynthetic gene clusters in the MAR4 marine streptomycete clade

Background: Considerable advances have been made in our understanding of the molecular genetics of secondary metabolite biosynthesis. Coupled with increased access to genome sequence data, new insight can be gained into the diversity and distributions of secondary metabolite biosynthetic gene clusters and the evolutionary processes that generate them. Here we examine the distribution of gene clusters predicted to encode the biosynthesis of a structurally diverse class of molecules called hybrid isoprenoids (HIs) in the genus Streptomyces. These compounds are derived from a mixed biosynthetic origin that is characterized by the incorporation of a terpene moiety onto a variety of chemical scaffolds and include many potent antibiotic and cytotoxic agents. Results: One hundred and twenty Streptomyces genomes were searched for HI biosynthetic gene clusters using ABBA prenyltransferases (PTases) as queries. These enzymes are responsible for a key step in HI biosynthesis. The strains included 12 that belong to the ‘MAR4’ clade, a largely marine-derived lineage linked to the production of diverse HI secondary metabolites. We found ABBA PTase homologs in all of the MAR4 genomes, which averaged five copies per strain, compared with 21 % of the non-MAR4 genomes, which averaged one copy per strain. Phylogenetic analyses suggest that MAR4 PTasemore » diversity has arisen by a combination of horizontal gene transfer and gene duplication. Furthermore, there is evidence that HI gene cluster diversity is generated by the horizontal exchange of orthologous PTases among clusters. Many putative HI gene clusters have not been linked to their secondary metabolic products, suggesting that MAR4 strains will yield additional new compounds in this structure class. Finally, we confirm that the mevalonate pathway is not always present in genomes that contain HI gene clusters and thus is not a reliable query for identifying strains with the potential to produce HI secondary metabolites. In conclusion: We found that marine-derived MAR4 streptomycetes possess a relatively high genetic potential for HI biosynthesis. The combination of horizontal gene transfer, duplication, and rearrangement indicate that complex evolutionary processes account for the high level of HI gene cluster diversity in these bacteria, the products of which may provide a yet to be defined adaptation to the marine environment.« less
 [1] ;  [1]
  1. Univ. of California, San Diego, CA (United States). Scripps Inst. of Oceanography
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Grant/Contract Number:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
BMC Genomics
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 16; Journal Issue: 1; Journal ID: ISSN 1471-2164
Research Org:
Univ. of California, San Diego, CA (United States). Scripps Inst. of Oceanography
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Science (SC)
Country of Publication:
United States
59 BASIC BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES Biosynthetic gene clusters; Genome evolution; Streptomyces; ABBA prenyltransferases; Secondary metabolism; Hybrid isoprenoids