Identification of a new antimicrobial, desertomycin H, utilizing a modified crowded plate technique
The antibiotic-resistant bacteria-associated infections are a major global healthcare threat. New classes of antimicrobial compounds are urgently needed as the frequency of infections caused by multidrug-resistant microbes continues to rise. Recent metagenomic data have demonstrated that there is still biosynthetic potential encoded in but transcriptionally silent in cultivatable bacterial genomes. However, the culture conditions required to identify and express silent biosynthetic gene clusters that yield natural products with antimicrobial activity are largely unknown. Here, we describe a new antibiotic discovery scheme, dubbed the modified crowded plate technique (mCPT), that utilizes complex microbial interactions to elicit antimicrobial production from otherwise silent biosynthetic gene clusters. Using the mCPT as part of the antibiotic crowdsourcing educational program Tiny EarthTM, we isolated over 1400 antibiotic-producing microbes, including 62 showing activity against multidrug-resistant pathogens. The natural product extracts generated from six microbial isolates showed potent activity against vancomycin-intermediate resistant Staphylococcus aureus. We utilized a targeted approach that coupled mass spectrometry data with bioactivity, yielding a new macrolactone class of metabolite, desertomycin H. In this study, we successfully demonstrate a concept that significantly increased our ability to quickly and efficiently identify microbes capable of the silent antibiotic production.
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Mohamed, O. G., Dorandish, S., Lindow, R., Steltz, M., Shoukat, I., Shoukat, M., Chehade, H., Baghdadi, S., McAlister-Raeburn, M., Kamal, A., Abebe, D., Ali, K., Ivy, C., Antonova, M., Schultz, P., Angell, M., Clemans, D., Friebe, T., Sherman, D., … Tripathi, A. (2021). Identification of a new antimicrobial, desertomycin H, utilizing a modified crowded plate technique. Marine Drugs, 19(8), 424. https://doi.org/10.3390/md19080424