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NameTyler Alsup
Organization or InstitutionUniversity of Florida
TopicBiochemistry / Chem Bio.

Genome mining of atypical type II diterpene synthases to uncover novel natural products


Tyler A. Alsup and Jeffrey D. Rudolf

Author Institution(s)

University of Florida


Terpenoids comprise the largest, most structurally diverse family of natural products with over 80,000 known members, yet only a fraction have been isolated from bacteria. Genomic data, however, suggests that the full biosynthetic potential of bacteria has yet to be realized. By mining bacterial genomes for terpene synthases lacking the typical aspartate rich motifs found in canonical terpene synthases, our efforts have led to the identification of over 70 putative diterpenoid producers. Investigation of biosynthetic genes clustered in genomic proximity to the atypical type II diterpene synthases of interest have allowed for the prioritization of six bacterial strains for further study. Our preliminary data generated via gene knock-down mutants of atypical terpene synthases, culture in different fermentation media, and LC-MS analysis of production profiles supported the utility of this approach and revealed putative terpenoid natural products associated with predicted gene clusters.