Marine drugs

Investigation of Interspecies Interactions within Marine Micromonosporaceae Using an Improved Co-Culture Approach.

PMID 26404321


With respect to bacterial natural products, a significant outcome of the genomic era was that the biosynthetic potential in many microorganisms surpassed the number of compounds isolated under standard laboratory growth conditions, particularly among certain members in the phylum Actinobacteria. Our group, as well as others, investigated interspecies interactions, via co-culture, as a technique to coax bacteria to produce novel natural products. While co-culture provides new opportunities, challenges exist and questions surrounding these methods remain unanswered. In marine bacteria, for example, how prevalent are interspecies interactions and how commonly do interactions result in novel natural products? In an attempt to begin to answer basic questions surrounding co-culture of marine microorganisms, we have tested both antibiotic activity-based and LC/MS-based methods to evaluate Micromonosporaceae secondary metabolite production in co-culture. Overall, our investigation of 65 Micromonosporaceae led to the identification of 12 Micromonosporaceae across three genera that produced unique metabolites in co-culture. Our results suggest that interspecies interactions were prevalent between marine Micromonosporaceae and marine mycolic acid-containing bacteria. Furthermore, our approach highlights a sensitive and rapid method for investigating interspecies interactions in search of novel antibiotics, secondary metabolites, and genes.