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Sponge-associated Entotheonella bacteria as a resource for bioactive natural products

Sponge-associated Entotheonella bacteria could provide a source of biologically active natural products. Fractionation and sequencing of bacteria associated with the marine sponge Theonella swinhoei identified unculturable Entotheonella bacterial species that encoded diverse natural product biosynthetic pathways that could produce numerous polyketides and other peptides. Several biosynthetic pathways were functionally validated through expression in Escherichia coli. Next steps include developing production systems for encoded compounds.

SciBX 7(8); doi:10.1038/scibx.2014.235
Published online Feb. 27, 2014

Patent application filed covering genes encoding cytotoxic polytheonamide peptides; available for licensing

Wilson, M.C. et al. Nature; published online Jan. 29, 2014;
Contact: Jörn Piel, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich (ETHZ), Zurich, Switzerland