Terpenoids are Widespread in Actinomycetes: A Correlation of Secondary Metabolism and Genome Data



The genomes of all bacteria with publicly available sequenced genomes have been screened for the presence of sesquiterpene cyclase homologues, resulting in the identification of 55 putative geosmin synthases, 23 homologues of 2-methylisoborneol synthases, and 98 other sesquiterpene cyclase homologues. Most of these enzymes by far were found in actinomycetes. The terpenoid volatiles from 35 strains, including 31 actinomycetes and four strains from other taxa, were collected by using a closed-loop stripping apparatus and identified by GC-MS. All of these bacteria apart from one strain encode sesquiterpene cyclase homologues in their genomes. The identified volatile terpenoids were grouped according to structural similarities and their biosynthetic relationship, and the results of these analyses were correlated to the available genome information, resulting in valuable new insights into bacterial terpene biosynthesis.