18th International Symposium on the Biology of Actinomycetes (ISBA18)

HeeJu Nah receiving her poster prize certificate

We were pleased to present a prize at the 18th International Symposium on the Biology of Actinomycetes to HeeJu Nah (Department of Biological Engineering, Inha University, Korea) for her poster on:

“Precise Cloning and Heterologous Expression of Natural Product Biosynthetic Gene Cluster Using Streptomyces Artificial Chromosome System.”

The symposium took place in Jeju, Korea on 23 – 27th May 2017.

The International Symposium on the Biology of Actinomycetes is the premier conference in the field, covering all aspects from basic biology through to the applications of the metabolites these fascinating bacteria produce. The conference attracted 582 delegates, with speakers and sponsors from over 30 countries around the world, bringing together both well-established and promising scientists who were keen to discuss Actinobacteria. Actinomycetes are prolific producers of antibiotics and other bioactive natural products, including many compounds used in medicine and agriculture, such as erythromycin, rifampicin, amphotericin, doxorubicin, avermectin and spinosyn.

NPR Board members, Professor Greg Challis, Professor Yeo Joon Yoon and Dr Rebecca Goss were all in attendance at the meeting. Here is what they had to say about the meeting; The 18th meeting in the series featured many exciting talks on the discovery, biosynthesis and bioengineering of actinomycete natural products of direct relevance to readers of NPR. The conference programme included 13 symposia, 3 workshop sessions, 9 plenary lectures and a special lecture by 2015 Nobel Laureate Professor Satoshi Ōmura. Professor Ōmura overviewed the > 400 natural products that his group had isolated, with >20 being of clinical significance. This was particularly impressive, especially when one considers the NMR capability in the early days of his research. This was inspirational to young scientists and students in the field of natural products.

Excitingly, the symposium highlighted the huge acceleration in the field of natural product discovery, enabled by the availability of sequenced actinomycetes genomes, the development of tools for the identification of biosynthetic gene clusters (BGCs) encoded within the genomes, prediction of their products, and the development of technologies enabling access to the products of these previously silent BGCs.

There was a strong strand of fundamental, developmental actinomycetes biology that ran throughout and underpinned the symposium. It is critical to the international community that research into this area remains vibrant and is well supported. Understanding the development and stability of these important antibiotic producers is crucial to optimising and sustaining them for the fermentative production of natural products.

Why not take a look at some related NPR articles here:

Antibiotics from Gram-negative bacteria: a comprehensive overview and selected biosynthetic highlights
J. Masschelein, M. Jenner and G. L. Challis
DOI: 10.1039/C7NP00010C

Opportunities for natural products in 21st century antibiotic discovery
Gerard D. Wright
DOI: 10.1039/C7NP00019G

Symbiosis-inspired approaches to antibiotic discovery
Navid Adnani, Scott R. Rajski and Tim S. Bugni
DOI: 10.1039/C7NP00009J

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