Discovery of Antibiotics from Cyanobacteria

Lead Research Organisation: University of East Anglia
Department Name: Postgraduate Research Service

Abstract

Bacteria have the capacity to produce natural products with exquisite bioactivities, which makes these compounds excellent candidates as medicines and agrochemicals. In an era of widespread antimicrobial and antifungal resistance, it is essential that new bioactive compounds are discovered, as these can serve as leads for drug discovery. A promising approach is to explore the biosynthetic capacity of understudied bacteria. Cyanobacteria are known to produce numerous clinically important molecules, such as dolastatin, which forms the basis of an approved anti-lymphoma drug. However, only a few natural products have been discovered from some species.

The goal of this project is to harness the potential of overlooked cyanobacteria for the discovery of antibiotics that are active towards clinical-important pathogens. This will be guided by genomics, which can be used to predict whether a cyanobacterium is likely to produce new molecules. This will be supported by advanced mass spectrometry and bioactivity screening to guide compound discovery.

Publications

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Studentship Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Student Name
BB/T008717/1 01/10/2020 30/09/2028
2444455 Studentship BB/T008717/1 01/10/2020 30/09/2024 Nathan Byrne