Systematic Rebuilding of Actinomycetes for Natural Product Formation

Summary
There is an urgent need for novel antibiotics to fight life-threatening infections and to counteract the increasing problem of propagating antibiotic resistance. Recently, new molecular genetic and biochemical tools have provided insight into the enormous unexploited genetic pool of environmental microbial biodiversity for new antibiotic compounds. New tools for more efficiently lifting this hidden treasure are needed to strengthen competitiveness of European industry, as well as for a cost-saving medical service for European citizens. The SYSTERACT project aims to develop the model Actinobacterium Streptomyces coelicolor into a 'Superhost' for the efficient production of antibiotic compounds, enabling a faster discovery of new antibiotics from environmental microbial resources. Central to this approach will be an iterative Systems Biology cycle, combining microbiology, genetics, biochemistry, and fermentation technology with predictive modelling. SYSTERACT brings together six partners from four ERASysApp member countries, including four universities, one non-profit research organization, as well as the latter's Technology Transfer Unit. Strong relevant industry is closely connected to the project and supports the research partners in their efforts to develop a reliable new tool by a Systems Biology approach that is useful for a more efficient discovery of new future antibiotics.

Project Team
Project coordinator

Dr. Alexander Wentzel, SINTEF Materials and Chemistry, Norway
Project partners
Prof. Wolfgang Wohlleben, Eberhard-Karls-Universität Tübingen, Germany
Prof. Gilles P. van Wezel, Universiteit Leiden, The Netherlands
Prof. Olaf Wolkenhauer, Universität Rostock, Germany
Researcher Eduard Kerkhoven PhD, Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden
Director Nils Spidsøe, SINTEF TTO, Norway