Evolution of secondary metabolite genes in three closely related marine actinomycete species

Kelle C. Freel, Sang Jip Nam, William Fenical, Paul R. Jensen

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Abstract

The marine actinomycete genus Salinispora is composed of three closely related species. These bacteria are a rich source of secondary metabolites, which are produced in species-specific patterns. This study examines the distribution and phylogenetic relationships of genes involved in the biosynthesis of secondary metabolites in the salinosporamide and staurosporine classes, which have been reported for S. tropica and S. arenicola, respectively. The focus is on "Salinispora pacifica," the most recently discovered and phylogenetically diverse member of the genus. Of 61 S. pacifica strains examined, 15 tested positive for a ketosynthase (KS) domain linked to the biosynthesis of salinosporamide K, a new compound in the salinosporamide series. Compound production was confirmed in two strains, and the domain phylogeny supports vertical inheritance from a common ancestor shared with S. tropica, which produces related compounds in the salinosporamide series. There was no evidence for interspecies recombination among salA KS sequences, providing further support for the geographic isolation of these two salinosporamide-producing lineages. In addition, staurosporine production is reported for the first time for S. pacifica, with 24 of 61 strains testing positive for staD, a key gene involved in the biosynthesis of this compound. High levels of recombination were observed between staD alleles in S. pacifica and the cooccurring yet more distantly related S. arenicola, which produces a similar series of staurosporines. The distributions and phylogenies of the biosynthetic genes examined provide insight into the complex processes driving the evolution of secondary metabolism among closely related bacterial species.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7261-7270
Number of pages10
JournalApplied and Environmental Microbiology
Volume77
Issue number20
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 2011

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