Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Genes culled from desert soils suggest potential medical resource

Date:
May 27, 2012
Source:
American Society for Microbiology
Summary:
Despite their ecologic similarity, soils from three geographically distinct areas of the American southwest harbor vastly different collections of small, biosynthetic genes, a finding that suggests the existence of a far greater diversity of potentially useful products than was previously supposed.

Despite their ecologic similarity, soils from three geographically distinct areas of the American southwest harbor vastly different collections of small, biosynthetic genes, a finding that suggests the existence of a far greater diversity of potentially useful products than was previously supposed. The research is published in the May issue of Applied and Environmental Microbiology.

Related Articles


Natural compounds have been the sources of the majority of new drugs approved by the US Food and Drug Administration, and bacteria have been the biggest single source of these therapeutically relevant compounds. Most bacterially-derived antibiotic and anticancer agents were discovered by culturing bacteria from environmental samples, and then examining the metabolites they produce in laboratory fermentation studies. But the vast majority of bacterial species cannot be cultured, which suggested that the world might be awash in potentially useful, but unknown bacterial metabolites.

In this study, Sean Brady of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Rockefeller University, New York, NY, and colleagues extracted DNA from soils from the Sonoran Desert of Arizona, the Anza Borrego section of the Sonoran Desert of California, and the Great Basin Desert of Utah. They used this DNA to construct very large metagenomic DNA libraries, and screened these libraries for three of the most common classes of small molecule biosynthesis systems, type I modular polyketides, type II iterative polyketides, and non-ribosomal peptides, says Brady.

The investigators used PCR to amplify collections of gene fragments from each of the three libraries and compared these to assess the similarities and differences between the collections of genes cloned from each environment, says Brady.

"Our work suggests that the genomes of environmental bacteria could encode many additional drug-like molecules, including compounds that might serve, among other things, as new antibiotics and anticancer agents," says Brady. "This is a small preliminary study that warrants additional investigations of more environments and more extensive sequence analysis, but it suggests that environmental bacteria have the potential to encode a large additional treasure trove of new medicines."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Society for Microbiology. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. B. V. B. Reddy, D. Kallifidas, J. H. Kim, Z. Charlop-Powers, Z. Feng, S. F. Brady. Natural Product Biosynthetic Gene Diversity in Geographically Distinct Soil Microbiomes. Applied and Environmental Microbiology, 2012; 78 (10): 3744 DOI: 10.1128/AEM.00102-12

Cite This Page:

American Society for Microbiology. "Genes culled from desert soils suggest potential medical resource." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 27 May 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/05/120527115007.htm>.
American Society for Microbiology. (2012, May 27). Genes culled from desert soils suggest potential medical resource. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 6, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/05/120527115007.htm
American Society for Microbiology. "Genes culled from desert soils suggest potential medical resource." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/05/120527115007.htm (accessed March 6, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Plants & Animals News

Friday, March 6, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Giant Panda Goes Walkabout in Southwest China

Giant Panda Goes Walkabout in Southwest China

AFP (Mar. 6, 2015) — A giant panda goes walkabout alone at night in southwest China. Duration: 00:37 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Nesting Bald Eagle Covered in Snow Up to Its Neck

Nesting Bald Eagle Covered in Snow Up to Its Neck

Buzz60 (Mar. 6, 2015) — The Pennsylvania State Game Commission captured amazing shots of a nesting bald eagle who stayed on its nest during a snowstorm, even when the snow piled all the way up to its neck. Jen Markham (@jenmarkham) has the story. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
'Extinct' Bird Isn't Extinct At All, Scientists Find

'Extinct' Bird Isn't Extinct At All, Scientists Find

Buzz60 (Mar. 6, 2015) — Scientists rediscover a bird thought to be extinct, so we may be able to cross it off the "Gone For Good" list. Sean Dowling (@seandowlingtv) has more details. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Lack of Snow Pushes Alaska Sled Dog Race North

Lack of Snow Pushes Alaska Sled Dog Race North

AP (Mar. 6, 2015) — A shortage of snow has forced Alaska&apos;s Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race to move 300 miles north to Fairbanks. The ceremonial start through downtown Anchorage will take place this weekend, using snow stockpiled earlier this winter. (March 6) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins