Natural products are a large family of diverse and complex chemical molecules that have roles in both primary and secondary metabolism, and over 210,000 natural products have been described. Secondary metabolite natural products are of high commercial and societal value with therapeutic uses as antibiotics, antifungals, antitumor and antiparasitic products and in agriculture as products for crop protection and animal health. There is a resurgence of activity in exploring natural products for a wide range of applications, due to not only increasing antibiotic resistance, but the advent of next-generation genome sequencing and new technologies to interrogate and investigate natural product biosynthesis. Genome mining has revealed a previously undiscovered richness of biosynthetic potential in novel biosynthetic gene clusters for natural products. Complementing these computational processes are new experimental platforms that are being developed and deployed to access new natural products.
Keywords: Biosynthetic gene clusters; Genome mining; Integrated platform; Natural products; Secondary metabolites; Streptomyces.