Valinomycin biosynthetic gene clusterin Streptomyces: Conservation, ecology and evolution

Andrea M. Matter, Sara B. Hoot, Patrick D. Anderson, Susana S. Neves, Yi Qiang Cheng

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38 Scopus citations


Many Streptomyces strains are known to produce valinomycin (VLM) antibiotic and the VLM biosynthetic gene cluster (vlm) has been characterized in two independent isolates. Here we report the phylogenetic relationships of these strains using both parsimony and likelihood methods, and discuss whether the vlm gene cluster shows evidence of horizontal transmission common in natural product biosynthetic genes. Eight Streptomyces strains from around the world were obtained and sequenced for three regions of the two large nonribosomal peptide synthetase genes (vlm1 and vlm2) involved in VLM biosynthesis. The DNA sequences representing the vlm gene cluster are highly conserved among all eight environmental strains. The geographic distribution pattern of these strains and the strict congruence between the trees of the two vlm genes and the housekeeping genes, 16S rDNA and trpB, suggest vertical transmission of the vlm gene cluster in Streptomyces with no evidence of horizontal gene transfer. We also explored the relationship of the sequence of vlm genes to that of the cereulide biosynthetic genes (ces) found in Bacillus cereus and found them highly divergent from each other at DNA level (genetic distance values≥95.6%). It is possible that the vlm gene cluster and the ces gene cluster may share a relatively distant common ancestor but these two gene clusters have since evolved independently.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere7194
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number9
StatePublished - 29 Sep 2009


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