Secondary metabolites from the Burkholderia pseudomallei complex: structure, ecology, and evolution

Jennifer R. Klaus, Pauline M.L. Coulon, Pratik Koirala, Mohammad R. Seyedsayamdost, Eric Déziel, Josephine R. Chandler

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Bacterial secondary metabolites play important roles in promoting survival, though few have been carefully studied in their natural context. Numerous gene clusters code for secondary metabolites in the genomes of members of the Bptm group, made up of three closely related species with distinctly different lifestyles: the opportunistic pathogen Burkholderia pseudomallei, the non-pathogenic saprophyte Burkholderia thailandensis, and the host-adapted pathogen Burkholderia mallei. Several biosynthetic gene clusters are conserved across two or all three species, and this provides an opportunity to understand how the corresponding secondary metabolites contribute to survival in different contexts in nature. In this review, we discuss three secondary metabolites from the Bptm group: bactobolin, malleilactone (and malleicyprol), and the 4-hydroxy-3-methyl-2-alkylquinolines, providing an overview of each of their biosynthetic pathways and insight into their potential ecological roles. Results of studies on these secondary metabolites provide a window into how secondary metabolites contribute to bacterial survival in different environments, from host infections to polymicrobial soil communities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)877-887
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Industrial Microbiology and Biotechnology
Issue number9-10
StatePublished - Oct 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology
  • Bioengineering
  • Biotechnology


  • Antibiotic
  • Burkholderia
  • Secondary metabolite


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