Whole genome sequencing of bacteria has shown that most bacteria have significantly more potential to produce natural products than what is observed in the lab. We hypothesize that environmental signals can change the metabolite profile of bacteria. Furthermore, understanding how signaling changes metabolite production will provide a route to fully exploiting the natural product potential of bacteria. One way in which we tested this hypothesis was to investigate how bacterial-bacterial interactions affected metabolite production1. We also showed that bacterial interactions stimulated a bacterium to produce the antibiotic keyicin and were partially able to recapitulate the results using modulators of quorum sensing, a known mechanism by which bacteria communicate through chemical signals2-3.

  1. Adnani, N.; Vazquez-Rivera, E.; Adibhatla, S. N.; Ellis, G. A.; Braun, D. R.; Bugni, T. S., Investigation of Interspecies Interactions within Marine Micromonosporaceae Using an Improved Co-Culture Approach. Mar Drugs 2015, 13 (10), 6082-98.
  2. Adnani, N.; Chevrette, M. G.; Adibhatla, S. N.; Zhang, F.; Yu, Q.; Braun, D. R.; Nelson, J.; Simpkins, S. W.; McDonald, B. R.; Myers, C. L.; Piotrowski, J. S.; Thompson, C. J.; Currie, C. R.; Li, L.; Rajski, S. R.; Bugni, T. S., Coculture of Marine Invertebrate-Associated Bacteria and Interdisciplinary Technologies Enable Biosynthesis and Discovery of a New Antibiotic, Keyicin. ACS Chem Biol 2017.
  3. Acharya, D.; Miller, I.; Cui, Y.; Braun, D. R.; Berres, M. E.; Styles, M. J.; Li, L.; Kwan, J.; Rajski, S. R.; Blackwell, H. E.; Bugni, T. S., Omics Technologies to Understand Activation of a Biosynthetic Gene Cluster in Micromonospora sp. WMMB235: Deciphering Keyicin Biosynthesis. ACS Chem Biol 2019, 14 (6), 1260-1270.