Advertisement

On being an honorary member of Arny’s army: some musings about fungal fermentations, secondary metabolism, and scientific communities

Commentary
  • 138 Downloads

Abstract

This essay is an unabashed celebration of applied microbiology and secondary metabolism, and how one scientist—Arnold Demain—has been a spokesman for industrial microbiology and biotechnology. There are many reasons for Arny’s professional success. During his long and distinguished career, Arnold Demain has expanded and enriched our understanding of the importance secondary metabolism. He has studied topics that ranged from pickles, to pectinolytic enzymes, to penicillin. His experimental versatility was conducted under the unifying theme of fermentation microbiology. In addition, one of his most positive achievements was his ability to bring scientists from different disciplines and national backgrounds together and thereby nucleate new collaborations. I am one of many people who has benefited from Arny’s generous mentoring and speak from the heart when I say that industrial microbiology could not have a better representative. Arny has been the catalyst for much of that has gone right in my professional life and the lives of the many other applied microbiologists who have had the good fortune to know him.

Notes

Acknowledgements

I am grateful to Erick J. Vandamme and Richard H. Baltz for giving me the opportunity to contribute this essay and thereby thank Arny in writing. I also thank Jody Demain for her willingness to share Arny on the dance floor.

References

  1. 1.
    Andersen MR, Nielsen JB, Klitgaard A, Petersen LM, Zachariasen M, Hansen TJ, Blicher LH, Gotfredsen CH, Larsen TO, Nielsen KF et al (2013) Accurate prediction of secondary metabolite gene clusters in filamentous fungi. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 110:99–107CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Bennett JW (1979) Aflatoxins and anthraquinones from diploids of Aspergillus parasiticus. J Gen Microbiol 113:127–136CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Bennett JW (1995) From molecular genetics and secondary metabolism to molecular metabolites and secondary genetics. Can J Bot 73:S917–S924CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Bennett JW, Chang PK, Bhatnagar D (1997) One gene to whole pathway: the role of norsolorinic acid in aflatoxin research. Adv Appl Microbiol 45:1–13CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Bennett JW, Goldblatt LA (1973) The isolation of mutants of Aspergillus flavus and A. parasiticus with altered aflatoxin producing ability. Sabouraudia 11:235–241CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Bennett JW, Lee LS, Shoss SM, Boudreaux GH (1980) Identification of averantin as an aflatoxin B1 precursor: placement in the biosynthetic pathway. Appl Environ Microbiol 39:835–839PubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Bennett JW, Bhatnagar D, Chang PK (1994) The molecular genetics of aflatoxin biosynthesis. In: Powell KA, Peberdy J, Renwick A (eds) The genus Aspergillus. From taxonomy and genetics to industrial applications. Plenum Press, New York, pp 51–58Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Bennett JW, Bentley R (1989) What’s in a name? Microbial secondary metabolism. Adv Appl Microbiol 34:1–28CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Bentley R, Bennett JW (2008) A ferment of fermentations: reflections on the production of commodity chemicals using microorganisms. Adv Appl Microbiol 63:1–32CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Blin K, Medema MH, Kottmann R, Lee SY, Weber T (2017) The antiSMASH database, a comprehensive database of microbial secondary metabolite biosynthetic gene clusters. Nucleic Acids Res 45:D555–D559. doi: 10.1093/nar/gkw960 CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Bu’Lock JD (1961) Intermediary metabolism and antibiotic synthesis. Adv Appl Microbiol 3:293–307CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Bu’Lock JD (1965) The biosynthesis of natural products. McGraw-Hill, LondonGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Bu’Lock JD (1967) Essays in biosynthesis and microbial development. Wiley, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Chang PK, Cary JW, Bhatnagar D, Cleveland TE, Bennett JW, Linz JE, Woloshuk CP, Payne GA (1993) Cloning of the Aspergillus parasiticus apa2 gene associated with the regulation of aflatoxin biosynthesis. Appl Environ Microbiol 59:3273–3279PubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Demain AL (1968) Regulatory mechanism and the industrial production of microbial metabolites. Lloydia 31:395–418Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Demain AL (1973) Mutation and the production of secondary metabolites. Adv Appl Microbiol 16:177–198CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Demain AL (1974) How do antibiotic-producing microorganisms avoid suicide? Ann NY Acad Sci 235:601–604CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Demain AL (1980) Do antibiotics function in nature? Search 11:148–151Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Demain AL (1981) Industrial microbiology. Science 214:987–995CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Demain AL (1983) New applications of microbial products. Science 219:709–714CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Demain AL (2004) Pickles, pectin, and penicillin. Ann Rev Microbiol 58:1–42CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Demain AL, Piret JM (1981) Why secondary metabolism? Microbiology 1981:363–364Google Scholar
  23. 23.
    Demain AL, Fang A (2000) The natural functions of secondary metabolites. Adv Biochem Eng Biotechnol 69:1–39PubMedGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    de Vogel PR, van Rhee Koelensmid WAAAB (1965) A rapid screening test for aflatoxin-synthesizing aspergilli of the flavus-oryzae group. J Appl Bacteriol 28:213–220CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    Drew S, Demain AL (1977) Effect of primary metabolites on secondary metabolism. Ann Rev Microbiol 31:343–358CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. 26.
    Fedorova ND, Moktali V, Medema MX (2012) Bioinformatics approaches and software for detection of secondary metabolite gene clusters. Methods Mol Biol 944:23–45PubMedGoogle Scholar
  27. 27.
    Fulghum R (1988) All I really need to know I learned in kindergarten. Villard Books, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  28. 28.
    Goldblatt L (ed) (1969) Aflatoxin. Scientific background, control, and implications. Academic Press, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  29. 29.
    Hoffmeister D, Keller NP (2007) Natural products of filamentous fungi: enzymes, genes, and their regulation. Nat Prod Rep 24:393–416CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  30. 30.
    Hsieh DP, Singh HR, Yao RC, Bennett JW (1978) Anthraquinones in the biosynthesis of sterigmatocystin by Aspergillus versicolor. Appl Environ Microbiol 35:980–982PubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  31. 31.
    Keller NP, Hohn TM (1997) Metabolic pathway gene clusters in filamentous fungi. Fungal Genet Biol 21:17–29CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. 32.
    Keller NP, Turner G, Bennett JW (2005) Fungal secondary metabolism—from biochemistry to genomics. Nat Rev Microbiol 3:937–947CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  33. 33.
    Khaldi N, Seifuddin FT, Turner G, Haft D, Nierman WC, Wolfe KH, Fedorova ND (2010) SMURF: genomic mapping of fungal secondary metabolite clusters. Fungal Genet Biol 47:736–741CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  34. 34.
    Lee LS, Bennett JW, Cucullu AF, Stanley JB (1975) Synthesis of versicolorin A by a mutant strain of Aspergillus parasiticus deficient in aflatoxin production. J Agri Food Chem 23:1132–1134CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. 35.
    Lee LS, Bennett JW, Cucullu AF, Ory RL (1976) Biosynthesis of aflatoxin B1. Conversion of versicolorin A to aflatoxin B1 by Aspergillus parasiticus. J Agric Food Chem 24:116–770CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. 36.
    Medema MH, Blin K, Cimermancic P, de Jager V, Zakrzewski P, Fischbach MA, Weber T, Breitling R, Takano E (2011) AntiSMASH: rapid identification, annotation and analysis of secondary metabolite biosynthesis gene clusters. Nucleic Acids Res 39:339–346CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. 37.
    Payne G, Brown MP (1988) Genetics and physiology of aflatoxin biosynthesis. Ann Rev Plant Pathol 36:329–362Google Scholar
  38. 38.
    Pons WA (1969) Collaborative study on the determination of aflatoxins in cottonseed products. J Assoc Off Anal Chem 51:61–72Google Scholar
  39. 39.
    Rose AH (1979) Production and importance of secondary products of metabolism. Economic microbiology. Secondary products of metabolism, vol 3. Academic Press, London, pp 1–33Google Scholar
  40. 40.
    Tawfike AF, Viegelmann C, Edrada-Ebel R (2013) Metabolomics and dereplication strategies in natural products. Methods Mol Biol 1055:227–244. doi: 10.1007/978-1-62703-577-4_17 CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  41. 41.
    Torssell Kurt BG (1983) Natural product chemistry. A mechanistic and biosynthetic approach to secondary metabolism. Wiley, ChichesterGoogle Scholar
  42. 42.
    Turner G (2010) Genomics and secondary metabolism in Aspergillus. In: Machida M, Gomi K (eds) Aspergillus molecular biology and genomics. Caister Academic Press, Norfolk, pp 139–155Google Scholar
  43. 43.
    Umemura M, Koike H, Nagano N, Ishii T, Kawano J, Yamane N, Kozone I, Horimoto K, Shin-Ya K, Asai K, Bennett JW, Machida M (2013) MIDDAS-M: motif-Independent de novo detection of secondary metabolite gene clusters through the integration of genome sequencing and transcriptome data. PLoS ONE 8:e84028CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  44. 44.
    Waksman SA (1961) The role of antibiotics in nature. Perspect Biol Med 4:271–287CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. 45.
    Weinberg ED (1971) Secondary metabolism: raison d’etre. Perspect Biol Med 14:565–571CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  46. 46.
    Woodruff HB (1966) The physiology of antibiotic production: the role of the producing organism. Symp Soc Gen Microbiol 7:22–46Google Scholar
  47. 47.
    Woodward RB (1972) Recent advances in the chemistry of natural products. Nobel lecture delivered December 11, 1965. In: Nobel lectures: chemistry 1963–1970. Elsevier, Amsterdam, pp 100–121Google Scholar
  48. 48.
    Yamada Y, Kuzuyama T, Komatsu M, Shin-ya K, Omura S, Cane DE, Ikeda H (2014) Terpene synthases are widely distributed in bacteria Proc Natl Acad Sci 112:857–862. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1422108112 CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  49. 49.
    Yu J, Chang P-K, Ehrlich KC, Cary JW, Bhatnagar D, Cleveland TE, Payne GA, Linz JE, Wolochuk CP, Bennett JW (2004) Clustered pathway genes in aflatoxin biosynthesis. Appl Environ Microbiol 70:1253–1262CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  50. 50.
    Yu J, Bhatnagar D, Cleveland TE (2004) Completed sequence of aflatoxin pathway gene cluster in Aspergillus parasiticus. FEBS Lett 564:126–130CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Society for Industrial Microbiology and Biotechnology 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Plant BiologyRutgers UniversityNew BrunswickUSA

Personalised recommendations