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Int J Med Microbiol. 2014 May;304(3-4):230-5. doi: 10.1016/j.ijmm.2014.02.001. Epub 2014 Feb 19.

In silico tools for the analysis of antibiotic biosynthetic pathways.

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Interfaculty Institute of Microbiology and Infection Medicine, Eberhard Karls University Tübingen, Tübingen, Germany; German Center for Infection Research (DZIF), Partner Site Tübingen, Germany; The Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Biosustainability, Technical University of Denmark, Hørsholm, Denmark. Electronic address:


Natural products of bacteria and fungi are the most important source for antimicrobial drug leads. For decades, such compounds were exclusively found by chemical/bioactivity-guided screening approaches. The rapid progress in sequencing technologies only recently allowed the development of novel screening methods based on the genome sequences of potential producing organisms. The basic principle of such genome mining approaches is to identify genes, which are involved in the biosynthesis of such molecules, and to predict the products of the identified pathways. Thus, bioinformatics methods and tools are crucial for genome mining. In this review, a comprehensive overview is given on programs and databases for the identification and analysis of antibiotic biosynthesis gene clusters in genomic data.


Antibiotics; Bioinformatics; Database; Genome mining; NRPS; Non-ribsomal peptide synthetase; Polyketide; Secondary metabolite

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