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Article

Microbial Communities of Cladonia Lichens and Their Biosynthetic Gene Clusters Potentially Encoding Natural Products

1
Institute of Biotechnology, University of Helsinki, P.O. Box 56, 00014 Helsinki, Finland
2
Department of Microbiology, Faculty of Agriculture and Forestry, University of Helsinki, P.O. Box 56, 00014 Helsinki, Finland
3
Finnish Museum of Natural History, Botany Unit, University of Helsinki, P.O. Box 7, 00014 Helsinki, Finland
4
Organismal and Evolutionary Biology Research Programme, Faculty of Biological and Environmental Sciences, University of Helsinki, P.O. Box 65, 00014 Helsinki, Finland
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Pedro M. Santos
Microorganisms 2021, 9(7), 1347; https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms9071347
Received: 24 May 2021 / Revised: 14 June 2021 / Accepted: 18 June 2021 / Published: 22 June 2021
Lichens have been widely used in traditional medicine, especially by indigenous communities worldwide. However, their slow growth and difficulties in the isolation of lichen symbionts and associated microbes have hindered the pharmaceutical utilisation of lichen-produced compounds. Advances in high-throughput sequencing techniques now permit detailed investigations of the complex microbial communities formed by fungi, green algae, cyanobacteria, and other bacteria within the lichen thalli. Here, we used amplicon sequencing, shotgun metagenomics, and in silico metabolomics together with compound extractions to study reindeer lichens collected from Southern Finland. Our aim was to evaluate the potential of Cladonia species as sources of novel natural products. We compared the predicted biosynthetic pathways of lichen compounds from isolated genome-sequenced lichen fungi and our environmental samples. Potential biosynthetic genes could then be further used to produce secondary metabolites in more tractable hosts. Furthermore, we detected multiple compounds by metabolite analyses, which revealed connections between the identified biosynthetic gene clusters and their products. Taken together, our results contribute to metagenomic data studies from complex lichen-symbiotic communities and provide valuable new information for use in further biochemical and pharmacological studies. View Full-Text
Keywords: nonribosomal peptides; polyketides; small molecules; shotgun metagenomics; Cladonia; lichen nonribosomal peptides; polyketides; small molecules; shotgun metagenomics; Cladonia; lichen
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MDPI and ACS Style

Shishido, T.K.; Wahlsten, M.; Laine, P.; Rikkinen, J.; Lundell, T.; Auvinen, P. Microbial Communities of Cladonia Lichens and Their Biosynthetic Gene Clusters Potentially Encoding Natural Products. Microorganisms 2021, 9, 1347. https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms9071347

AMA Style

Shishido TK, Wahlsten M, Laine P, Rikkinen J, Lundell T, Auvinen P. Microbial Communities of Cladonia Lichens and Their Biosynthetic Gene Clusters Potentially Encoding Natural Products. Microorganisms. 2021; 9(7):1347. https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms9071347

Chicago/Turabian Style

Shishido, Tânia K., Matti Wahlsten, Pia Laine, Jouko Rikkinen, Taina Lundell, and Petri Auvinen. 2021. "Microbial Communities of Cladonia Lichens and Their Biosynthetic Gene Clusters Potentially Encoding Natural Products" Microorganisms 9, no. 7: 1347. https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms9071347

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