Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology

, Volume 103, Issue 4, pp 1643–1658 | Cite as

Regulation of the phosphate metabolism in Streptomyces genus: impact on the secondary metabolites

  • Carlos BarreiroEmail author
  • Miriam Martínez-Castro


The analysis of the inorganic phosphate effect over the antibiotics production is a long-distance history in the Streptomyces genus, which began almost at the same time that Michael Ende published his book entitled The Neverending Story. In some way, the unveiling of the pho regulon and its influence over the secondary metabolites production is an unfinished story, which keeps this subject as a trending topic, nowadays. Up to date, different studies have been releasing knowledge about particular areas of the pho regulon of different Streptomyces species. Nevertheless, for the first time, these knowledge drops are grouped in a review presenting a broad overview of the phosphate regulation and its impact over the secondary metabolites production in industrially relevant species. Even though the genetic response against phosphate scarcity is similar, as a whole, in different Streptomyces species, the fine-tuning is species-specific. Thus, the response regulator PhoP directly controls the secondary metabolites production in some species, whereas it regulates them in an indirect manner in other species. This information, unraveled in this review, is the result of the intensive analysis along last decade in several species of the genus that is allowing to distinguish how the phosphate response is unleashed in Streptomyces coelicolor, Streptomyces lividans, Streptomyces natalensis, Streptomyces lydicus, Streptomyces avermitilis, and Streptomyces tsukubaensis.


Streptomyces Phosphate Secondary metabolites pho regulon Regulation Antibiotics 



Special thanks to (i) the ProWood project (“Wood and derivatives protection by novel bio-coating solutions”; ERA IB 7th Joint Call) through the APCIN call of the Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness (MINECO, Spain) (Project ID: PCIN-2016-081), which is allowing to isolate new and industrially interesting Actinobacteria and (ii) to the Syntheroids project (“Synthetic biology for industrial production of steroids”; ERA CoBioTech 1st call) through the APCIN call of the Spanish Ministry of Science, Innovation and Universities (Project ID: PCI2018-093066), which is allowing a deeper understanding of the steroids production by Actinobacteria.

The authors also wish to thank the scientific and administrative staff involved, along last decades, in the Actinobacteria metabolism regulation and antibiotics production group of University of León (Spain) and INBIOTEC initially headed by Prof. Juan F. Martín and Prof. Paloma Liras and continued by the INBIOTEC research team, nowadays.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.

Ethical statement

This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Instituto de Biotecnología de León (INBIOTEC)LeónSpain
  2. 2.Departamento de Biología MolecularUniversidad de LeónPonferradaSpain
  3. 3.Facultad de Ciencias de la SaludUniversidad Isabel IBurgosSpain

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