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Antonie Van Leeuwenhoek. 2012 Jan;101(1):55-66. doi: 10.1007/s10482-011-9671-1. Epub 2011 Nov 16.

Systematics-guided bioprospecting for bioactive microbial natural products.

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Key Laboratory of Pathogenic Microbiology and Immunology, Institute of Microbiology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China.


Advances in the taxonomic characterization of microorganisms have accelerated the rate at which new producers of natural products can be understood in relation to known organisms. Yet for many reasons, chemical efforts to characterize new compounds from new microbes have not kept pace with taxonomic advances. That there exists an ever-widening gap between the biological versus chemical characterization of new microorganisms creates tremendous opportunity for the discovery of novel natural products through the calculated selection and study of organisms from unique, untapped, ecological niches. A systematics-guided bioprospecting, including the construction of high quality libraries of marine microbes and their crude extracts, investigation of bioactive compounds, and increasing the active compounds by precision engineering, has become an efficient approach to drive drug leads discovery. This review outlines the recent advances in these issues and shares our experiences on anti-infectious drug discovery and improvement of avermectins production as well.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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