Natural Product Discovery and Biosynthesis Studies
Refactoring Terpenoids Biosynthesis
Fungi represent an incredibly rich reservoir of natural products, which often show potent bioactivity and find applications in different fields. Research in the Alberti Lab aims to understand how specific bioactive terpenoids, one of the main classes of fungal natural products, are assembled in higher fungi. To this aim, we have recently developed a platform, based on Saccharomyces cerevisiae (baker's yeast), that accumulates increased amounts of precursors to a specific class of terpenoid derivatives called isoprenoid quinones.
Natural Product Discovery
Actinomycetes are Gram-positive bacteria that are responsible for the production of more than 70% of the antibiotics known to date. In collaboration with the Corre Lab (Warwick), Fabrizio optimised a strategy to discover natural products from actinomycetes and characterise their biosynthesis. In this approach, gene clusters are captured through yeast-based homologous recombination, and biosynthetic genes are derepressed with CRISPR/Cas9-mediated genome editing. We are using this strategy to discover other bioactive natural products from actinomycetes.