Tackling Streptomyces Heterogeneity for Improved Productivity

The majority of clinically important antibiotics that are used to combat bacterial infections are derived from streptomycetes. In addition to antimicrobials, and also other medically relevant natural products including anticancer agents, these organisms produce numerous enzymes for medical and technical applications. Many of these enzymes are most efficiently produced by streptomycetes themselves (i.e. not by other cell factories), because they require host-specific machinery for their folding, modification and release into the medium. 

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Growth of streptomycetes in fermenters is characterized by the formation of so-called pellets of interconnected filaments known as hyphae. The typical size heterogeneity of these pellets strongly reduces the desired specific productivity, which is one of the main reasons for the sub-optimal performance of streptomycetes in bioreactors. My lab tackles the heterogeneity in productivity by applying innovative cell-wall engineering approaches. This knowledge will be used to develop Streptomyces cell factories that are tailored for the production of (novel) enzymes and antimicrobials.

© Dennis Claessen 2017