Table of Contents
Mar. Drugs, Volume 15, Issue 6 (June 2017)
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Cover Story (view full-size image) The sequencing of biosynthetic pathways allows their biochemistry to be investigated, and in some [...] Read more. The sequencing of biosynthetic pathways allows their biochemistry to be investigated, and in some circumstances bioinformatics can be used to predict configurations, aiding structure determination. Along with the rest of the genome of a producing organism, sequencing can also potentially shed light on chemical ecology, mechanism of action of small molecules and evolution, especially in the case of culture-independent sequencing (metagenomics). In this review, we outline the biological and practical issues to consider when embarking on a sequencing project that aims to uncover small molecule biosynthetic pathways. We outline potential challenges in such an endeavor, such as the use of metagenomics for uncultured microbes, pathway fragmentation, and difficulties in assembling repetitive pathways. We also discuss how the pathway and symbiont evolution may affect sequencing and assembly. View this paper