Ecology shapes the genomic and biosynthetic diversification of Streptomyces bacteria from insectivorous bats


Microb Genom. 2024 Apr;10(4). doi: 10.1099/mgen.0.001238.


Streptomyces are prolific producers of secondary metabolites from which many clinically useful compounds have been derived. They inhabit diverse habitats but have rarely been reported in vertebrates. Here, we aim to determine to what extent the ecological source (bat host species and cave sites) influence the genomic and biosynthetic diversity of Streptomyces bacteria. We analysed draft genomes of 132 Streptomyces isolates sampled from 11 species of insectivorous bats from six cave sites in Arizona and New Mexico, USA. We delineated 55 species based on the genome-wide average nucleotide identity and core genome phylogenetic tree. Streptomyces isolates that colonize the same bat species or inhabit the same site exhibit greater overall genomic similarity than they do with Streptomyces from other bat species or sites. However, when considering biosynthetic gene clusters (BGCs) alone, BGC distribution is not structured by the ecological or geographical source of the Streptomyces that carry them. Each genome carried between 19-65 BGCs (median=42.5) and varied even among members of the same Streptomyces species. Nine major classes of BGCs were detected in ten of the 11 bat species and in all sites: terpene, non-ribosomal peptide synthetase, polyketide synthase, siderophore, RiPP-like, butyrolactone, lanthipeptide, ectoine, melanin. Finally, Streptomyces genomes carry multiple hybrid BGCs consisting of signature domains from two to seven distinct BGC classes. Taken together, our results bring critical insights to understanding Streptomyces-bat ecology and BGC diversity that may contribute to bat health and in augmenting current efforts in natural product discovery, especially from underexplored or overlooked environments.

PMID:38625724 | DOI:10.1099/mgen.0.001238