A Multi-Omics Characterization of the Natural Product Potential of Tropical Filamentous Marine Cyanobacteria

Tiago Leão, Mingxun Wang, Nathan Moss, Ricardo da Silva, Jon Sanders, Sergey Nurk, Alexey Gurevich, Gregory Humphrey, Raphael Reher, Qiyun Zhu, Pedro Belda-Ferre, Evgenia Glukhov, Syrena Whitner, Kelsey L. Alexander, Robert Rex, Pavel Pevzner, Pieter C. Dorrestein, Rob Knight, Nuno Bandeira, William H. GerwickLena Gerwick

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Microbial natural products are important for the understanding of microbial interactions, chemical defense and communication, and have also served as an inspirational source for numerous pharmaceutical drugs. Tropical marine cyanobacteria have been highlighted as a great source of new natural products, however, few reports have appeared wherein a multi-omics approach has been used to study their natural products potential (i.e., reports are often focused on an individual natural product and its biosynthesis). This study focuses on describing the natural product genetic potential as well as the expressed natural product molecules in benthic tropical cyanobacteria. We collected from several sites around the world and sequenced the genomes of 24 tropical filamentous marine cyanobacteria. The informatics program antiSMASH was used to annotate the major classes of gene clusters. BiG-SCAPE phylum-wide analysis revealed the most promising strains for natural product discovery among these cyanobacteria. LCMS/MS-based metabolomics highlighted the most abundant molecules and molecular classes among 10 of these marine cyanobacterial samples. We observed that despite many genes encoding for peptidic natural products, peptides were not as abundant as lipids and lipopeptides in the chemical extracts. Our results highlight a number of highly interesting biosynthetic gene clusters for genome mining among these cyanobacterial samples.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number20
JournalMarine Drugs
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2021


  • biosynthetic potential
  • genomics
  • marine cyanobacteria
  • metabolomics
  • natural products

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmaceutical Science
  • Drug Discovery
  • Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutics (miscellaneous)


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