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Millan-Aguinaga, N, Chavarria KL, Ugalde JA, Letzel AC, Rouse GW, Jensen PR.  2017.  Phylogenomic Insight into Salinispora (Bacteria, Actinobacteria) Species Designations. Scientific Reports. 7   10.1038/s41598-017-02845-3   AbstractWebsite

Bacteria represent the most genetically diverse kingdom of life. While great progress has been made in describing this diversity, it remains difficult to identify the phylogenetic and ecological characteristics that delineate groups of bacteria that possess species-like properties. One major challenge associated with species delineations is that not all shared genes have the same evolutionary history, and thus the choice of loci can have a major impact on phylogenetic reconstruction. Sequencing the genomes of large numbers of closely related strains provides new opportunities to distinguish ancestral from acquired alleles and assess the effects of recombination on phylogenetic inference. Here we analyzed the genomes of 119 strains of the marine actinomycete genus Salinispora, which is currently comprised of three named species that share 99% 16S rRNA gene sequence identity. While 63% of the core genome showed evidence of recombination, this had no effect on species-level phylogenomic resolution. Recombination did however blur intra-species relationships and biogeographic resolution. The genome-wide average nucleotide identity provided a new perspective on Salinispora diversity, revealing as many as seven new species. Patterns of orthologous group distributions reveal a genetic basis to delineation the candidate taxa and insight into the levels of genetic cohesion associated with bacterial species.

Asolkar, RN, Singh A, Jensen PR, Aalbersberg W, Carte BK, Feussner KD, Subramani R, DiPasquale A, Rheingold AL, Fenical W.  2017.  Marinocyanins, cytotoxic bromo-phenazinone meroterpenoids from a marine bacterium from the streptomycete Glade MAR4. Tetrahedron. 73:2234-2241.   10.1016/j.tet.2017.03.003   AbstractWebsite

Six cytotoxic and antimicrobial metabolites of a new bromo-phenazinone class, the marinocyanins A-F (1-6), were isolated together with the known bacterial metabolites 2-bromo-1-hydroxyphenazine (7), lavanducyanin (8, WS-9659A) and its chlorinated analog WS-9659B (9). These metabolites were purified by bioassay-guided fractionation of the extracts of our MAR4 marine actinomycete strains CNS-284 and CNY-960. The structures of the new compounds were determined by detailed spectroscopic methods and marinocyanin A (1) was confirmed by crystallographic methods. The marinocyanins represent the first bromo-phenazinones with an N-isoprenoid substituent in the skeleton. Marinocyanins A-F show strong to weak cytotoxicity against HCT-116 human colon carcinoma and possess modest antimicrobial activities against Staphylococcus aureus and amphotericin-resistant Candida albicans. (C) 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Agarwal, V, Blanton JM, Podell S, Taton A, Schorn MA, Busch J, Lin Z, Schmidt EW, Jensen PR, Paul VJ, Biggs JS, Golden JW, Allen EE, Moore BS.  2017.  Metagenomic discovery of polybrominated diphenyl ether biosynthesis by marine sponges. Nat Chem Biol. advance online publication: Nature Publishing Group, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited. All Rights Reserved.   10.1038/nchembio.2330   Abstract

Naturally produced polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) pervade the marine environment and structurally resemble toxic man-made brominated flame retardants. PBDEs bioaccumulate in marine animals and are likely transferred to the human food chain. However, the biogenic basis for PBDE production in one of their most prolific sources, marine sponges of the order Dysideidae, remains unidentified. Here, we report the discovery of PBDE biosynthetic gene clusters within sponge-microbiome-associated cyanobacterial endosymbionts through the use of an unbiased metagenome-mining approach. Using expression of PBDE biosynthetic genes in heterologous cyanobacterial hosts, we correlate the structural diversity of naturally produced PBDEs to modifications within PBDE biosynthetic gene clusters in multiple sponge holobionts. Our results establish the genetic and molecular foundation for the production of PBDEs in one of the most abundant natural sources of these molecules, further setting the stage for a metagenomic-based inventory of other PBDE sources in the marine environment.

Crusemann, M, O'Neill EC, Larson CB, Melnik AV, Floros DJ, da Silva RR, Jensen PR, Dorrestein PC, Moore BS.  2017.  Prioritizing natural product diversity in a collection of 146 bacterial strains based on growth and extraction protocols. Journal of Natural Products. 80:588-597.   10.1021/acsjnatprod.6b00722   AbstractWebsite

In order to expedite the rapid and efficient discovery and isolation of novel specialized metabolites, while minimizing the waste of resources on rediscovery of known compounds, it is crucial to develop efficient approaches for strain prioritization, rapid dereplication, and the assessment of favored cultivation and extraction conditions. Herein we interrogated bacterial strains by systematically evaluating cultivation and extraction parameters with LC-MS/MS analysis and subsequent dereplication through the Global Natural Product Social Molecular Networking (GNPS) platform. The developed method is fast, requiring minimal time and sample material, and is compatible with high throughput extract analysis, thereby streamlining strain prioritization and evaluation of culturing parameters. With this approach, we analyzed 146 marine Salinispora and Streptomyces strains that were grown and extracted using multiple different protocols. In total, 603 samples were analyzed, generating approximately 1.8 million mass spectra. We constructed a comprehensive molecular network and identified 15 molecular families of diverse natural products and their analogues. The size and breadth of this network shows statistically supported trends in molecular diversity when comparing growth and extraction conditions. The network provides an extensive survey of the biosynthetic capacity of the strain collection and a method to compare strains based on the variety and novelty of their metabolites. This approach allows us to quickly identify patterns in metabolite production that can be linked to taxonomy, culture conditions, and extraction methods, as well as informing the most valuable growth and extraction conditions.

Patin, NV, Schorn M, Aguinaldo K, Lincecum T, Moore BS, Jensen PR.  2017.  Effects of actinomycete secondary metabolites on sediment microbial communities. Applied and Environmental Microbiology. 83   10.1128/aem.02676-16   Abstract

Marine sediments harbor complex microbial communities that remain poorly studied relative to other biomes such as seawater. Moreover, bacteria in these communities produce antibiotics and other bioactive secondary metabolites, yet little is known about how these compounds affect microbial community structure. In this study, we used next-generation amplicon sequencing to assess native microbial community composition in shallow tropical marine sediments. The results revealed complex communities comprised of largely uncultured taxa, with considerable spatial heterogeneity and known antibiotic producers comprising only a small fraction of the total diversity. Organic extracts from cultured strains of the sedimentdwelling actinomycete genus Salinispora were then used in mesocosm studies to address how secondary metabolites shape sediment community composition. We identified predatory bacteria and other taxa that were consistently reduced in the extract-treated mesocosms, suggesting that they may be the targets of allelopathic interactions. We tested related taxa for extract sensitivity and found general agreement with the culture-independent results. Conversely, several taxa were enriched in the extract-treated mesocosms, suggesting that some bacteria benefited from the interactions. The results provide evidence that bacterial secondary metabolites can have complex and significant effects on sediment microbial communities. IMPORTANCE Ocean sediments represent one of Earth's largest and most poorly studied biomes. These habitats are characterized by complex microbial communities where competition for space and nutrients can be intense. This study addressed the hypothesis that secondary metabolites produced by the sediment-inhabiting actinomycete Salinispora arenicola affect community composition and thus mediate interactions among competing microbes. Next-generation amplicon sequencing of mesocosm experiments revealed complex communities that shifted following exposure to S. arenicola extracts. The results reveal that certain predatory bacteria were consistently less abundant following exposure to extracts, suggesting that microbial metabolites mediate competitive interactions. Other taxa increased in relative abundance, suggesting a benefit from the extracts themselves or the resulting changes in the community. This study takes a first step toward assessing the impacts of bacterial metabolites on sediment microbial communities. The results provide insight into how low-abundance organisms may help structure microbial communities in ocean sediments.

Jensen, PR.  2016.  Natural products and the gene cluster revolution. Trends in Microbiology. 24:968-977.   10.1016/j.tim.2016.07.006   AbstractWebsite

Genome sequencing has created unprecedented opportunities for natural product discovery and new insight into the diversity and distributions of natural-product biosynthetic gene clusters (BGCs). These gene collectives are highly evolved for horizontal exchange, thus providing immediate opportunities to test the effects of small molecules on fitness. The marine actinomycete genus Salinispora maintains extraordinary levels of BGC diversity and has become a useful model for studies of secondary metabolism. Most Salinispora BGCs are observed infrequently, resulting in high population-level diversity while conforming to constraints associated with maximum genome size. Comparative genomics is providing a mechanism to assess secondary metabolism in the context of evolution and evidence that some products represent ecotype-defining traits while others appear selectively neutral.

Schorn, MA, Alanjary MM, Aguinaldo K, Korobeynikov A, Podell S, Patin N, Lincecum T, Jensen PR, Ziemert N, Moore BS.  2016.  Sequencing rare marine actinomycete genomes reveals high density of unique natural product biosynthetic gene clusters. Microbiology-Sgm. 162:2075-2086.   10.1099/mic.0.000386   AbstractWebsite

Traditional natural product discovery methods have nearly exhausted the accessible diversity of microbial chemicals, making new sources and techniques paramount in the search for new molecules. Marine actinomycete bacteria have recently come into the spotlight as fruitful producers of structurally diverse secondary metabolites, and remain relatively untapped. In this study, we sequenced 21 marine-derived actinomycete strains, rarely studied for their secondary metabolite potential and under-represented in current genomic databases. We found that genome size and phylogeny were good predictors of biosynthetic gene cluster diversity, with larger genomes rivalling the well-known marine producers in the Streptomyces and Salinispora genera. Genomes in the Micrococcineae suborder, however, had consistently the lowest number of biosynthetic gene clusters. By networking individual gene clusters into gene cluster families, we were able to computationally estimate the degree of novelty each genus contributed to the current sequence databases. Based on the similarity measures between all actinobacteria in the Joint Genome Institute's Atlas of Biosynthetic gene Clusters database, rare marine genera show a high degree of novelty and diversity, with Corynebacterium, Gordonia, Nocardiopsis, Saccharomonospora and Pseudonocardia genera representing the highest gene cluster diversity. This research validates that rare marine actinomycetes are important candidates for exploration, as they are relatively unstudied, and their relatives are historically rich in secondary metabolites.

Floros, DJ, Jensen PR, Dorrestein PC, Koyama N.  2016.  A metabolomics guided exploration of marine natural product chemical space. Metabolomics. 12   10.1007/s11306-016-1087-5   AbstractWebsite

Introduction Natural products from culture collections have enormous impact in advancing discovery programs for metabolites of biotechnological importance. These discovery efforts rely on the metabolomic characterization of strain collections. Objective Many emerging approaches compare metabolomic profiles of such collections, but few enable the analysis and prioritization of thousands of samples from diverse organisms while delivering chemistry specific read outs. Method In this work we utilize untargeted LC-MS/MS based metabolomics together with molecular networking to inventory the chemistries associated with 1000 marine microorganisms. Result This approach annotated 76 molecular families (a spectral match rate of 28 %), including clinically and biotechnologically important molecules such as valinomycin, actinomycin D, and desferrioxamine E. Targeting a molecular family produced primarily by one microorganism led to the isolation and structure elucidation of two new molecules designated maridric acids A and B. Conclusion Molecular networking guided exploration of large culture collections allows for rapid dereplication of know molecules and can highlight producers of uniques metabolites. These methods, together with large culture collections and growing databases, allow for data driven strain prioritization with a focus on novel chemistries.

Wang, MX, Carver JJ, Phelan VV, Sanchez LM, Garg N, Peng Y, Nguyen DD, Watrous J, Kapono CA, Luzzatto-Knaan T et al..  2016.  Sharing and community curation of mass spectrometry data with Global Natural Products Social Molecular Networking. Nature Biotechnology. 34:828-837.   10.1038/nbt.3597   AbstractWebsite

The potential of the diverse chemistries present in natural products (NP) for biotechnology and medicine remains untapped because NP databases are not searchable with raw data and the NP community has no way to share data other than in published papers. Although mass spectrometry (MS) techniques are well-suited to high-throughput characterization of NP, there is a pressing need for an infrastructure to enable sharing and curation of data. We present Global Natural Products Social Molecular Networking (GNPS;, an open-access knowledge base for community-wide organization and sharing of raw, processed or identified tandem mass (MS/MS) spectrometry data. In GNPS, crowdsourced curation of freely available community-wide reference MS libraries will underpin improved annotations. Data-driven social-networking should facilitate identification of spectra and foster collaborations. We also introduce the concept of 'living data' through continuous reanalysis of deposited data.

Patin, NV, Duncan KR, Dorrestein PC, Jensen PR.  2016.  Competitive strategies differentiate closely related species of marine actinobacteria. Isme Journal. 10:478-490.   10.1038/ismej.2015.128   AbstractWebsite

Although competition, niche partitioning, and spatial isolation have been used to describe the ecology and evolution of macro-organisms, it is less clear to what extent these principles account for the extraordinary levels of bacterial diversity observed in nature. Ecological interactions among bacteria are particularly challenging to address due to methodological limitations and uncertainties over how to recognize fundamental units of diversity and link them to the functional traits and evolutionary processes that led to their divergence. Here we show that two closely related marine actinomycete species can be differentiated based on competitive strategies. Using a direct challenge assay to investigate inhibitory interactions with members of the bacterial community, we observed a temporal difference in the onset of inhibition. The majority of inhibitory activity exhibited by Salinispora arenicola occurred early in its growth cycle and was linked to antibiotic production. In contrast, most inhibition by Salinispora tropica occurred later in the growth cycle and was more commonly linked to nutrient depletion or other sources. Comparative genomics support these differences, with S. arenicola containing nearly twice the number of secondary metabolite biosynthetic gene clusters as S. tropica, indicating a greater potential for secondary metabolite production. In contrast, S. tropica is enriched in gene clusters associated with the acquisition of growth-limiting nutrients such as iron. Coupled with differences in growth rates, the results reveal that S. arenicola uses interference competition at the expense of growth, whereas S. tropica preferentially employs a strategy of exploitation competition. The results support the ecological divergence of two co-occurring and closely related species of marine bacteria by providing evidence they have evolved fundamentally different strategies to compete in marine sediments.

Ruckert, C, Leipoldt F, Zeyhle P, Fenical W, Jensen PR, Kalinowski J, Heide L, Kaysser L.  2015.  Complete genome sequence of Streptomyces sp CNQ-509, a prolific producer of meroterpenoid chemistry. Journal of Biotechnology. 216:140-141.   10.1016/j.jbiotec.2015.08.009   AbstractWebsite

Streptomyces sp. CNQ-509 is a marine actinomycete belonging to the MAR4 streptomycete lineage. MAR4 strains have been linked to the production of diverse and otherwise rare meroterpenoid compounds. The genome sequence of Streptomyces sp. CNQ-509 was found to contain 29 putative gene clusters for the biosynthesis of secondary metabolites, some of them potentially involved in the formation of meroterpenoid molecules. (C) 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Tang, XY, Li J, Millan-Aguinaga N, Zhang JJ, O'Neill EC, Ugalde JA, Jensen PR, Mantovani SM, Moore BS.  2015.  Identification of thiotetronic acid antibiotic biosynthetic pathways by target-directed genome mining. Acs Chemical Biology. 10:2841-2849.   10.1021/acschembio.5b00658   AbstractWebsite

Recent genome sequencing efforts have led to the rapid accumulation of uncharacterized or "orphaned" secondary metabolic biosynthesis gene clusters (BGCs) in public databases. This increase in DNA-sequenced big data has given rise to significant challenges in the applied field of natural product genome mining, including (i) how to prioritize the characterization of orphan BGCs and (ii) how to rapidly connect genes to biosynthesized small molecules. Here, we show that by correlating putative antibiotic resistance genes that encode target-modified proteins with orphan BGCs, we predict the biological function of pathway specific small molecules before they have been revealed in a process we call target-directed genome mining. By querying the pan-genome of 86 Salinispora bacterial genomes for duplicated house-keeping genes colocalized with natural product BGCs, we prioritized an orphan polyketide synthase-nonribosomal peptide synthetase hybrid BGC (tlm) with a putative fatty acid synthase resistance gene. We employed a new synthetic double-stranded DNA-mediated cloning strategy based on transformation-associated recombination to efficiently capture tlm and the related Mu BGCs directly from genomic DNA and to heterologously express them in Streptomyces hosts. We show the production of a group of unusual thiotetronic acid natural products, including the well-known fatty acid synthase inhibitor thiolactomycin that was first described over 30 years ago, yet never at the genetic level in regards to biosynthesis and autoresistance. This finding not only validates the target-directed genome mining strategy for the discovery of antibiotic producing gene clusters without a priori knowledge of the molecule synthesized but also paves the way for the investigation of novel: enzymology involved in thiotetronic, acid natural product biosynthesis.

Gallagher, KA, Jensen PR.  2015.  Genomic insights into the evolution of hybrid isoprenoid biosynthetic gene clusters in the MAR4 marine streptomycete clade. Bmc Genomics. 16   10.1186/s12864-015-2110-3   AbstractWebsite

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 PTase 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. Conclusions: 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.

Choi, EJ, Nam SJ, Paul L, Beatty D, Kauffman CA, Jensen PR, Fenical W.  2015.  Previously uncultured marine bacteria linked to novel alkaloid production. Chemistry & Biology. 22:1270-1279.   10.1016/j.chembiol.2015.07.014   AbstractWebsite

Low-nutrient media and long incubation times facilitated the cultivation of 20 taxonomically diverse Gram-negative marine bacteria within the phyla Bacteroidetes and Proteobacteria. These strains comprise as many as three new families and include members of clades that had only been observed using culture-independent techniques. Chemical studies of the type strains representing two new families within the order Cytophagales led to the isolation of nine new alkaloid secondary metabolites that can be grouped into four distinct structure classes, including azepinones, aziridines, quinolones, and pyrazinones. Several of these compounds possess antibacterial properties and appear, on structural grounds, to be produced by amino acid-based biosynthetic pathways. Our results demonstrate that relatively simple cultivation techniques can lead to the isolation of new bacterial taxa that are capable of the production of alkaloid secondary metabolites with antibacterial activities. These findings support continued investment in cultivation techniques as a method for natural product discovery.

Nam, SJ, Kauffman CA, Jensen PR, Moore CE, Rheingold AL, Fenical W.  2015.  Actinobenzoquinoline and actinophenanthrolines a-c, unprecedented alkaloids from a marine actinobacterium. Organic Letters. 17:3240-3243.   10.1021/acs.orglett.5b01387   AbstractWebsite

Chemical investigation of a marine actinomycete within the family Streptomycetaceae (our strain CNQ-149) has led to the isolation of the unprecedented alkaloids, actinobenzoquinoline (1) and actinophenanthrolines A-C (2-4). The chemical structures of 1-4 were assigned by interpretation of NMR spectroscopic data, and their absolute configurations were assigned by X-ray analysis. Actinobenzoquinoline possesses a 5-methyloxazolidin-4-one moiety and a dihydrobento[h],quinoline core structure, while actinophenanthrolines A-C are composed of hydroxypropanamide-substituted 1,7-phenanthroline core skeletons.

Duncan, KR, Crusemann M, Lechner A, Sarkar A, Li J, Ziemert N, Wang MX, Bandeira N, Moore BS, Dorrestein PC, Jensen PR.  2015.  Molecular networking and pattern-based genome mining improves discovery of biosynthetic gene clusters and their products from Salinispora species. Chemistry & Biology. 22:460-471.   10.1016/j.chembiol.2015.03.010   AbstractWebsite

Genome sequencing has revealed that bacteria contain many more biosynthetic gene clusters than predicted based on the number of secondary metabolites discovered to date. While this biosynthetic reservoir has fostered interest in new tools for natural product discovery, there remains a gap between gene cluster detection and compound discovery. Here we apply molecular networking and the new concept of pattern-based genome mining to 35 Salinispora strains, including 30 for which draft genome sequences were either available or obtained for this study. The results provide a method to simultaneously compare large numbers of complex microbial extracts, which facilitated the identification of media components, known compounds and their derivatives, and new compounds that could be prioritized for structure elucidation. These efforts revealed considerable metabolite diversity and led to several molecular family-gene cluster pairings, of which the quinomycin-type depsipeptide retimycin A was characterized and linked to gene cluster NRPS40 using pattern-based bioinformatic approaches.

Wietz, M, Millan-Aguinaga N, Jensen PR.  2014.  CRISPR-Cas systems in the marine actinomycete Salinispora: linkages with phage defense, microdiversity and biogeography. Bmc Genomics. 15   10.1186/1471-2164-15-936   AbstractWebsite

Background: Prokaryotic CRISPR-Cas systems confer resistance to viral infection and thus mediate bacteria-phage interactions. However, the distribution and functional diversity of CRISPRs among environmental bacteria remains largely unknown. Here, comparative genomics of 75 Salinispora strains provided insight into the diversity and distribution of CRISPR-Cas systems in a cosmopolitan marine actinomycete genus. Results: CRISPRs were found in all Salinispora strains, with the majority containing multiple loci and different Cas array subtypes. Of the six subtypes identified, three have not been previously described. A lower prophage frequency in S. arenicola was associated with a higher fraction of spacers matching Salinispora prophages compared to S. tropica, suggesting differing defensive capacities between Salinispora species. The occurrence of related prophages in strains from distant locations, as well as spacers matching those prophages inserted throughout spacer arrays, indicate recurring encounters with widely distributed phages over time. Linkages of CRISPR features with Salinispora microdiversity pointed to subclade-specific contacts with mobile genetic elements (MGEs). This included lineage-specific spacer deletions or insertions, which may reflect weak selective pressures to maintain immunity or distinct temporal interactions with MGEs, respectively. Biogeographic patterns in spacer and prophage distributions support the concept that Salinispora spp. encounter localized MGEs. Moreover, the presence of spacers matching housekeeping genes suggests that CRISPRs may have functions outside of viral defense. Conclusions: This study provides a comprehensive examination of CRISPR-Cas systems in a broadly distributed group of environmental bacteria. The ubiquity and diversity of CRISPRs in Salinispora suggests that CRISPR-mediated interactions with MGEs represent a major force in the ecology and evolution of this cosmopolitan marine actinomycete genus.

Ziemert, N, Lechner A, Wietz M, Millan-Aguinaga N, Chavarria KL, Jensen PR.  2014.  Diversity and evolution of secondary metabolism in the marine actinomycete genus Salinispora. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 111:E1130-E1139.   10.1073/pnas.1324161111   AbstractWebsite

Access to genome sequence data has challenged traditional natural product discovery paradigms by revealing that the products of most bacterial biosynthetic pathways have yet to be discovered. Despite the insight afforded by this technology, little is known about the diversity and distributions of natural product biosynthetic pathways among bacteria and how they evolve to generate structural diversity. Here we analyze genome sequence data derived from 75 strains of the marine actinomycete genus Salinispora for pathways associated with polyketide and nonribosomal peptide biosynthesis, the products of which account for some of today's most important medicines. The results reveal high levels of diversity, with a total of 124 pathways identified and 229 predicted with continued sequencing. Recent horizontal gene transfer accounts for the majority of pathways, which occur in only one or two strains. Acquired pathways are incorporated into genomic islands and are commonly exchanged within and between species. Acquisition and transfer events largely involve complete pathways, which subsequently evolve by gene gain, loss, and duplication followed by divergence. The exchange of similar pathway types at the precise chromosomal locations in different strains suggests that the mechanisms of integration include pathway-level homologous recombination. Despite extensive horizontal gene transfer there is clear evidence of species-level vertical inheritance, supporting the concept that secondary metabolites represent functional traits that help define Salinispora species. The plasticity of the Salinispora secondary metabolome provides an effective mechanism to maximize population-level secondary metabolite diversity while limiting the number of pathways maintained within any individual genome.

Jensen, PR, Chavarria KL, Fenical W, Moore BS, Ziemert N.  2014.  Challenges and triumphs to genomics-based natural product discovery. Journal of Industrial Microbiology & Biotechnology. 41:203-209.   10.1007/s10295-013-1353-8   AbstractWebsite

Genome sequencing is rapidly changing the field of natural products research by providing opportunities to assess the biosynthetic potential of strains prior to chemical analysis or biological testing. Ready access to sequence data is driving the development of new bioinformatic tools and methods to identify the products of silent or cryptic pathways. While genome mining has fast become a useful approach to natural product discovery, it has also become clear that identifying pathways of interest is much easier than finding the associated products. This has led to bottlenecks in the discovery process that must be overcome for the potential of genomics-based natural product discovery to be fully realized. In this perspective, we address some of these challenges in the context of our work with the marine actinomycete genus Salinispora, which is proving to be a useful model with which to apply genome mining as an approach to natural product discovery.

Farnaes, L, Coufal NG, Kauffman CA, Rheingold AL, DiPasquale AG, Jensen PR, Fenical W.  2014.  Napyradiomycin derivatives, produced by a marine-derived actinomycete, illustrate cytotoxicity by induction of apoptosis. Journal of Natural Products. 77:15-21.   10.1021/np400466j   AbstractWebsite

The microbial production, isolation, and structure elucidation of four new napyradiomycin congeners (1-4) is reported. The structures of these compounds, which are new additions to the marine-derived meroterpenoids, were defined by comprehensive spectroscopic analysis and by X-ray crystallography. Using fluorescence-activated cell sorting (FACS) analysis, napyradiomycins 1-4 were observed to induce apoptosis in the colon adenocarcinoma cell line HCT-116, indicating the possibility of a specific biochemical target for this 1 class of cytotoxins.

Alvarez-Mico, X, Jensen PR, Fenical W, Hughes CC.  2013.  Chlorizidine, a Cytotoxic 5H-Pyrrolo 2,1-a isoindol-5-one-Containing Alkaloid from a Marine Streptomyces sp. Organic Letters. 15:988-991.   10.1021/ol303374e   AbstractWebsite

Cultivation of an obligate marine Streptomyces strain has provided the cytotoxic natural product chlorizidine A. X-ray crystallographic analysis revealed that the metabolite is composed of a chlorinated 2,3-dihydropyrrolizine ring attached to a chlorinated 5H-pyrrolo[2,1-a]isoindol-5-one. The carbon stereocenter in the dihydropyrrolizine is S-configured. Remarkably, the 5H-pyrrolo[2,1-a]isoindol-5-one moiety has no precedence in the field of natural products. The presence of this ring system, which was demonstrated to undergo facile nucleophilic substitution reactions at the activated carbonyl group, is essential to the molecule's cytotoxicity against HCT-116 human colon cancer cells.

Lane, AL, Nam SJ, Fukuda T, Yamanaka K, Kauffman CA, Jensen PR, Fenical W, Moore BS.  2013.  Structures and Comparative Characterization of Biosynthetic Gene Clusters for Cyanosporasides, Enediyne-Derived Natural Products from Marine Actinomycetes. Journal of the American Chemical Society. 135:4171-4174.   10.1021/ja311065v   AbstractWebsite

Cyanosporasides are marine bacterial natural products containing a chlorinated cyclopenta[a]indene core of suspected enediyne polyketide biosynthetic origin. Herein, we report the isolation and characterization of novel cyanosporasides C-F (3-6) from the marine actinomycetes Salinispora pacifica CNS-143 and Streptomyces sp. CNT-179, highlighted by the unprecedented C-2' N-acetylcysteamine functionalized hexose group of 6. Cloning, sequencing, and mutagenesis of homologous similar to 50 kb cyanosporaside biosynthetic gene clusters from both bacteria afforded the first genetic evidence supporting cyanosporaside's enediyne, and thereby p-benzyne biradical, biosynthetic origin and revealed the molecular basis for nitrile and glycosyl functionalization. This study provides new opportunities for bioengineering of enediyne derivatives and expands the structural diversity afforded by enediyne gene clusters.

Becerril-Espinosa, A, Freel KC, Jensen PR, Soria-Mercado IE.  2013.  Marine Actinobacteria from the Gulf of California: diversity, abundance and secondary metabolite biosynthetic potential. Antonie Van Leeuwenhoek International Journal of General and Molecular Microbiology. 103:809-819.   10.1007/s10482-012-9863-3   AbstractWebsite

The Gulf of California is a coastal marine ecosystem characterized as having abundant biological resources and a high level of endemism. In this work we report the isolation and characterization of Actinobacteria from different sites in the western Gulf of California. We collected 126 sediment samples and isolated on average 3.1-38.3 Actinobacterial strains from each sample. Phylogenetic analysis of 136 strains identified them as members of the genera Actinomadura, Micromonospora, Nocardiopsis, Nonomuraea, Saccharomonospora, Salinispora, Streptomyces and Verrucosispora. These strains were grouped into 26-56 operational taxonomic units (OTUs) based on 16S rRNA gene sequence identities of 98-100 %. At 98 % sequence identity, three OTUs appear to represent new taxa while nine (35 %) have only been reported from marine environments. Sixty-three strains required seawater for growth. These fell into two OTUs at the 98 % identity level and include one that failed to produce aerial hyphae and was only distantly related (a parts per thousand currency sign95.5 % 16S identity) to any previously cultured Streptomyces sp. Phylogenetic analyses of ketosynthase domains associated with polyketide synthase genes revealed sequences that ranged from 55 to 99 % nucleotide identity to experimentally characterized biosynthetic pathways suggesting that some may be associated with the production of new secondary metabolites. These results indicate that marine sediments from the Gulf of California harbor diverse Actinobacterial taxa with the potential to produce new secondary metabolites.

Wietz, M, Duncan K, Patin NV, Jensen PR.  2013.  Antagonistic interactions mediated by marine bacteria: The role of small molecules. Journal of Chemical Ecology. 39:879-891.   10.1007/s10886-013-0316-x   AbstractWebsite

Marine bacteria are known to produce a wide variety of structurally diverse and biologically active secondary metabolites. Considerably less is known about the ecological functions of these compounds, in part due to methodological challenges associated with this field of research. Here, we review the antagonistic activities mediated by marine bacteria with a focus on activities linked to structurally defined secondary metabolites. Bacterial antagonism has been documented against other marine bacteria as well as eukaryotes, and includes antibiosis, the inhibition of quorum sensing, larval settlement deterrence, and defense against predation. These compounds likely play important ecological roles that ultimately affect ecosystem structure and function, however, much remains to be learned before these roles can be fully appreciated. Recent technological advances coupled with a better understanding of the diverse processes mediated by secondary metabolites provide new opportunities to expand our understanding of the chemical ecology of bacterial antagonism in the marine environment.

Cheng, YB, Jensen PR, Fenical W.  2013.  Cytotoxic and antimicrobial napyradiomycins from two marine-derived streptomyces strains. European Journal of Organic Chemistry. :3751-3757.   10.1002/ejoc.201300349   AbstractWebsite

The cancer-cell-cytotoxicity-guided fractionation of the acetone extracts of two cultured marine-derived Streptomyces strains belonging to the MAR4 group yielded six new napyradiomycins, compounds A-F (1-6), together with three known compounds, napyradiomycins B2-B4 (7-9). Napyradiomycins 1-4 are new members of the napyradiomycin C-type meroterpenoids, which possess a linear monoterpene bridge between C-7 and C-10a. Compound 4 has an additional tetrahydropyran ring fused to the phenol moiety. Compounds 5-9 are related to the napyradiomycin B-type meroterpenoids. The structures of all new compounds were assigned by interpretation of 1D and 2D NMR, MS, and other spectroscopic data. The relative configurations were assigned based upon interpretation of ROESY 2D NMR experiments. The cytotoxicity of 1-9 against the human colon carcinoma cell line HCT-116 and their antibacterial activities against methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) are presented.