The genus has proven to be a rich reservoir of specialized metabolites, accounting for 80% of all microbially produced antibiotics including chloramphenicol and nystatin from and respectively. However, the discovery of novel microbial chemistry is still greatly needed to combat antimicrobial resistance. Comparative metabolomics, using platforms such as Global Natural Products Social Molecular Networking (GNPS), as well as tools such as antiSMASH and BiGSCAPE have aided the mining of biosynthetic gene clusters (BGC’s) across datasets but comparing the chemistry to the encoding biosynthetic gene clusters is a significant bottleneck.

In this study, ten strains were selected, based on phylogeny and availability of genome sequence. The strains were cultured on 6 types of Actinomycete-specific media to maximise metabolite diversity. Liquid Chromatography tandem Mass Spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) was used to obtain spectral data from crude metabolite extracts enabling comparative metabolomics analysis via the GNPS platform. As the genome sequences were publicly available, genome mining of BGC’s was achieved using antiSMASH resulting in 260 BGC’s across the ten strains. This revealed 53 gene cluster families when analysed using BiGSCAPE, the largest encoding for 8 metabolites.

In future, both biosynthetic (BGC’s) and chemistry (parent ions) datasets will be computationally linked based on strain presence/absence. The development of standardised datasets that enable cross-‘omics comparison will aid prioritisation of novel antibiotics, especially when combined with bioactivity data.

  • This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License.

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