Bioprospecting Through Cloning of Whole Natural Product Biosynthetic Gene Clusters
Review article, 2020

Since the discovery of penicillin, natural products and their derivatives have been a valuable resource for drug discovery. With recent development of genome mining approaches in the post-genome era, a great number of natural product biosynthetic gene clusters (BGCs) have been identified and these can potentially be exploited for the discovery of novel natural products that can find application as pharmaceuticals. Since many BGCs are silent or do not express in native hosts under laboratory conditions, heterologous expression of BGCs in genetically tractable hosts becomes an attractive route to activate these BGCs to discover the corresponding products. Here, we highlight recent achievements in cloning and discovery of natural product biosynthetic pathways via intact BGC capturing, and discuss the prospects of high-throughput and multiplexed cloning of rational-designed gene clusters in the future.

natural product

biosynthetic gene cluster

direct cloning

sequence-independent cloning

heterologous expression


Zhenquan Lin

Beijing University of Chemical Technology

Jens B Nielsen

Chalmers, Biology and Biological Engineering, Systems and Synthetic Biology

BioInnovation Institute

Technical University of Denmark (DTU)

Beijing University of Chemical Technology

Zihe Liu

Beijing University of Chemical Technology

Frontiers in Bioengineering and Biotechnology

2296-4185 (eISSN)

Vol. 8 526

Subject Categories

Production Engineering, Human Work Science and Ergonomics


Bioinformatics and Systems Biology



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Latest update

8/7/2020 7