New voyages to explore the natural product galaxy

  • Nigel J. MounceyEmail author
  • Hiroshi Otani
  • Daniel Udwary
  • Yasuo Yoshikuni
Natural Products - Original Paper


Natural products are a large family of diverse and complex chemical molecules that have roles in both primary and secondary metabolism, and over 210,000 natural products have been described. Secondary metabolite natural products are of high commercial and societal value with therapeutic uses as antibiotics, antifungals, antitumor and antiparasitic products and in agriculture as products for crop protection and animal health. There is a resurgence of activity in exploring natural products for a wide range of applications, due to not only increasing antibiotic resistance, but the advent of next-generation genome sequencing and new technologies to interrogate and investigate natural product biosynthesis. Genome mining has revealed a previously undiscovered richness of biosynthetic potential in novel biosynthetic gene clusters for natural products. Complementing these computational processes are new experimental platforms that are being developed and deployed to access new natural products.


Biosynthetic gene clusters Genome mining Integrated platform Natural products Secondary metabolites Streptomyces 



The work conducted by the U.S. Department of Energy Joint Genome Institute, a DOE Office of Science User Facility, is supported under Contract no. DE-AC02-05CH11231. We thank Richard Baltz, Leonard Katz, David Hopwood and Arnold Demain for inspiration and guidance.


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Copyright information

© Society for Industrial Microbiology and Biotechnology 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.United States Department of Energy Joint Genome InstituteWalnut CreekUSA

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