The diversity and distribution of specialized metabolite gene clusters within a community of bacteria living in the same soil habitat are poorly documented. Here we analyzed the genomes of 8 Streptomyces
isolated at micro-scale from a forest soil that belong to the same species or to different species. The results reveal high levels of diversity, with a total of 261 biosynthesis gene clusters (BGCs) encoding metabolites such as terpenes, polyketides (PKs), non-ribosomal peptides (NRPs) and ribosomally synthesized and post-translationally modified peptides (RiPPs) with potential bioactivities. A significant part of these BGCs (n = 53) were unique to only one strain when only 5 were common to all strains. The metabolites belong to very diverse chemical families and revealed that a large diversity of metabolites can potentially be produced in the community. Although that analysis of the global metabolome using GC-MS revealed that most of the metabolites were shared between the strains, they exhibited a specific metabolic pattern. We also observed that the presence of these accessory pathways might result from frequent loss and gain of genes (horizontal transfer), showing that the potential of metabolite production is a dynamic phenomenon in the community. Sampling Streptomyces
at the community level constitutes a good frame to discover new biosynthetic pathways and it appears as a promising reservoir for the discovery of new bioactive compounds.
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