Recent Advances in the Discovery of Antimicrobials through Metagenomics
Pp. 159-195 (37)
Daljeet Singh Dhanjal, Reena Singh and Chirag Chopra
Natural products obtained from the microbes have been reported as
substitutes to contemporary drugs obtained from plants. With the increasing need for
new therapies, new natural products are being explored using the traditional methods.
As only a small fraction of microbes can be cultured in the laboratory, many microbes
continue to remain unexplored for their ability to synthesize secondary metabolites. In
the past few decades, the reduced cost of DNA sequencing and developments in
computational tools have made the Metagenomic Approach effective and popular.
Uncultured microbes can be studied through bioprospecting of the unexplored
geographical niches. Moreover, Bioinformatics tools have enabled us to find the gene
clusters that, in metagenomics, imply the real potential of finding novel open reading
frames (ORFs). Screening of genomes for secondary metabolite-genes like nonribosomal
peptide synthases (NRPS) and polyketide synthases (PKS), has resulted in
the discovery of new or previously known metabolites. Technological advancement
and innovations in the culture-independent approach have allowed us to explore novel
chemistries from environmental samples to identify the molecules of therapeutic value.
This chapter will discuss the methods for identifying secondary metabolite genes from
the genome, and the new approaches for functional metagenomic screening toward the
discovery of antimicrobials. Moreover, insights into this approach will be provided to
generate opportunities to explore natural products for combating the global demand for
Antimicrobial, Bioinformatics, Bioprospecting, Metagenomics,
Mining, Multi-Drug Resistance, Non-Ribosomal Peptide Synthases, Polyketide
Synthases, Secondary Metabolite-Regulated Expression, Substrate-Induced Gene
School of Bioengineering and Biosciences, Lovely Professional University, Phagwara, Punjab, India.