The Chemical Ecology of Predatory Soil Bacteria

ACS Chem Biol. 2016 Jun 17;11(6):1502-10. doi: 10.1021/acschembio.6b00176. Epub 2016 Apr 14.


The study of natural products is entering a renaissance, driven by the discovery that the majority of bacterial secondary metabolites are not produced under standard laboratory conditions. Understanding the ecological role of natural products is key to efficiently directing our screening efforts, and to ensuring that each screen efficiently captures the full biosynthetic repertoire of the producing organisms. Myxobacteria represent one of the most common and diverse groups of bacteria, with roughly 2500 strains publically available. Fed largely through predation, the myxobacteria have developed a large repertoire of natural products that target other microorganisms, including bacteria and fungi. Many of these interactions can be observed in predation assays, providing direct evidence for environmental interactions. With a focus on Myxococcus xanthus, this review will highlight how recent advances in myxobacteria are revealing the chemical ecology of bacterial natural products.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / metabolism
  • Antibiosis / physiology
  • Biofilms
  • Biological Products / isolation & purification
  • Biological Products / metabolism*
  • Ecology
  • Electron Transport
  • Lipoxygenase Inhibitors / metabolism
  • Lysine / analogs & derivatives
  • Lysine / metabolism
  • Macrolides / metabolism
  • Myxococcus xanthus / metabolism*
  • Quorum Sensing
  • Secondary Metabolism
  • Siderophores / metabolism
  • Soil Microbiology


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Biological Products
  • Lipoxygenase Inhibitors
  • Macrolides
  • Siderophores
  • carolacton
  • myxochelin A
  • Myxococcus xanthus antibiotic TA
  • Lysine