Finding new antibiotics in the soil microbiota

Lead Research Organisation: University of East Anglia
Department Name: Norwich Medical School


The increase in drug-resistant bacterial infections is a major global health threat. This crisis is exacerbated by a lack of new antibiotics, caused by multiple factors including the frequent rediscovery of known antibiotics. The soil microbiota is a rich source of natural product molecules, with soil bacteria producing the majority of current clinical antimicrobials. The vast genetic diversity within the soil microbiota means that many novel, clinically relevant natural products undoubtedly remain to be identified. However, to fully exploit this natural resource efficacious antimicrobials both need to be identified and rediscovery effectively minimised. The project seeks to revitalise the antibiotic pipeline and guide the discovery of new antibiotic classes.

The John Innes Centrehas developed an effective, high-throughput pipeline for the identification and characterisation of biologically effective bacterial natural products. By pairing antimicrobial discovery with advanced data analysis it is ensured that novel pathways and products are prioritised, and antibiotic rediscovery minimised.
The project will exploit the extensive soil microbial isolate libraries and discovery pipeline emerging from recent research to identify and characterise new, clinically efficacious antimicrobial molecules.


10 25 50

Studentship Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Student Name
MR/W002604/1 01/10/2022 30/09/2028
2751114 Studentship MR/W002604/1 01/10/2022 30/09/2026