Microbial Genomics & Synthetic Biology

To fully harness the biosynthetic potential of the organisms that produce these natural products, the CNPD3 will obtain the genomic and metagenomic DNA. The focus here will be on microbes which appear to produce the richest chemical diversity, while 99 percent of them are still considered uncultivable. The standard screening methods are limited to organisms that can be cultured and/or whose biosynthetic operons are sufficiently expressed in nature (e.g., ocean) or under laboratory culture conditions to provide assayable amounts of active material. These intrinsic limitations reduce the rate of new discoveries, and the CNPD3 will leverage advances in synthetic biology to engineer model microorganisms for the production of natural products. Genomic and metagenomic DNA obtained from particularly unexplored marine microbes will be subjected to next-generation high-throughput sequencing, which will be the starting point for bioinformatic analysis.

Core Director