Uncharted biosynthetic potential of the ocean microbiome

Paoli et al. [posted content, 2021]
“Eudoremicrobiaceae” “Eudoremicrobium malaspinii”
SummaryMicrobes are phylogenetically and metabolically diverse. Yet capturing this diversity, assigning functions to host organisms and exploring the biosynthetic potential in natural environments remains challenging. We reconstructed >25,000 draft genomes, including from >2,500 uncharacterized species, from globally-distributed ocean microbial communities, and combined them with ∼10,000 genomes from cultivated and single cells. Mining this resource revealed ∼40,000 putative biosynthetic gene clusters (BGCs), many from unknown phylogenetic groups. Among these, we discovered Candidatus Eudoremicrobiaceae as one of the most biosynthetically diverse microbes detected to date. Discrete transcriptional states structuring natural populations were associated with a potentially niche-partitioning role for BGC products. Together with the characterization of the first Eudoremicrobiaceae natural product, this study demonstrates how microbiomics enables prospecting for candidate bioactive compounds in underexplored microbes and environments.
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