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J Ind Microbiol Biotechnol. 2001 Dec;27(6):399-402.

Genes for the biosynthesis of spinosyns: applications for yield improvement in Saccharopolyspora spinosa.

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Dow AgroSciences, Indianapolis, IN 46268,USA.


Spinosyns A and D are the active ingredients in an insect control agent produced by fermentation of Saccharopolyspora spinosa. Spinosyns are macrolides with a 21-carbon, tetracyclic lactone backbone to which the deoxysugars forosamine and tri-O-methylrhamnose are attached. The spinosyn biosynthesis genes, except for the rhamnose genes, are located in a cluster that spans 74 kb of the S. spinosa genome. DNA sequence analysis, targeted gene disruptions and bioconversion studies identified five large genes encoding type I polyketide synthase subunits, and 14 genes involved in sugar biosynthesis, sugar attachment to the polyketide or cross-bridging of the polyketide. Four rhamnose biosynthetic genes, two of which are also necessary for forosamine biosynthesis, are located outside the spinosyn gene cluster. Duplication of the spinosyn genes linked to the polyketide synthase genes stimulated the final step in the biosynthesis--the conversion of the forosamine-less pseudoaglycones to endproducts. Duplication of genes involved in the early steps of deoxysugar biosynthesis increased spinosyn yield significantly.

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