Examining the Fish Microbiome: Vertebrate-Derived Bacteria as an Environmental Niche for the Discovery of Unique Marine Natural Products
by Laura M. Sanchez, Weng Ruh Wong, Romina M. Riener, Christopher J. Schulze, Roger G. Linington
Historically, marine invertebrates have been a prolific source of unique natural products, with a diverse array of biological activities. Recent studies of invertebrate-associated microbial communities are revealing microorganisms as the true producers of many of these compounds. Inspired by the human microbiome project, which has highlighted the human intestine as a unique microenvironment in terms of microbial diversity, we elected to examine the bacterial communities of fish intestines (which we have termed the fish microbiome) as a new source of microbial and biosynthetic diversity for natural products discovery. To test the hypothesis that the fish microbiome contains microorganisms with unique capacity for biosynthesizing natural products, we examined six species of fish through a combination of dissection and culture-dependent evaluation of intestinal microbial communities. Using isolation media designed to enrich for marine Actinobacteria, we have found three main clades that show taxonomic divergence from known strains, several of which are previously uncultured. Extracts from these strains exhibit a wide range of activities against both Gram-positive and Gram-negative human pathogens, as well as several fish pathogens. Exploration of one of these extracts has identified the novel bioactive lipid sebastenoic acid as an anti-microbial agent, with activity against Staphylococcus aureus, Bacillus subtilis, Enterococcus faecium, and Vibrio mimicus.
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Syndicated from:PLoS ONE
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