• Department of Microbiology, Viikinkaari 9, Biocenter 1

    P.O. Box 56, FIN-00014 University of Helsinki

    Finland

Organization profile

Organisation Profile

The Microbial Natural Products group is headed by Dr. David Fewer. Natural products are low molecular weight metabolites with diverse chemical structures and potent biological activities that play key roles in advancing our understanding of biology and in the development of medicine. Natural products are either the direct basis or inspiration for the majority of drugs approved for clinical use. Half of all approved small-molecule anticancer drugs and antibiotics in clinical use today derive from natural products. Bacteria produce a stunning array of natural products with exotic chemical structures and dense functionalization. This chemical diversity is achieved using highly diverse biosynthetic pathways encoding an array of tailoring enzymes.

 

Our research focuses on the genomics and biochemistry of natural products biosynthetic pathways. We use a combination of bioinformatics, genomics, molecular biology, biochemistry, synthetic biology and structural chemistry to guide the discovery of new natural products from cyanobacteria. Cyanobacteria are found in freshwater lakes, reservoirs and ponds worldwide. They  are infamous producers of toxins and are linked to the death of wild and domestic animals. However, they are also a prolific and promising source of biologically active natural products. Using this approach we hope to unravel the genetic and chemical diversity of cyanobacterial natural products and discovered new natural products.

 

International and National Collaboration Publications and projects within past five years.

Projects 2012 2022

Publications 2011 2018

Alternative biosynthetic starter units enhance the structural diversity of cyanobacterial lipopeptides

Mareš, J., Hajek, J., Urajova, P., Kust, A., Jokela, J. K., Saurav, K., Galica, T., Čapková, K., Mattila, A. I., Haapaniemi, E., Permi, P., Mysterud, I., Skulberg, O., Karlsen, J., Fewer, D. P., Sivonen, A. K., Tønnesen, H. & Hrouzek, P., 28 Nov 2018, (Accepted/In press) In : Applied and Environmental Microbiology. AEM02675-18R1 .

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

Discovery of a Pederin Family Compound in a Nonsymbiotic Bloom-Forming Cyanobacterium

Kust, A., Mares, J., Jokela, J., Urajova, P., Hajek, J., Saurav, K., Voracova, K., Fewer, D. P., Haapaniemi, E., Permi, P., Rehakova, K., Sivonen, K. & Hrouzek, P., May 2018, In : ACS Chemical Biology. 13, 5, p. 1123-1129 7 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

Sphaerocyclamide, a prenylated cyanobactin from the cyanobacterium Sphaerospermopsis sp. LEGE 00249

Martins, J., Leikoski, N., Wahlsten, M., Azevedo, J., Antunes, J., Jokela, J., Sivonen, K., Vasconcelos, V., Fewer, D. P. & Leão, P. N., 28 Sep 2018, In : Scientific Reports. 8, 1, 9 p., 14537 .

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

Open Access
File

Strains of the toxic and bloom-forming Nodularia spumigena (cyanobacteria) can degrade methylphosphonate and release methane

Teikari, J. E., Fewer, D. P., Shrestha, R., Hou, S., Leikoski, N., Mäkelä, M., Simojoki, A., Hess, W. R. & Sivonen, K., Jun 2018, In : ISME Journal. 12, 6, p. 1619-1630 12 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

The Swinholide Biosynthesis Gene Cluster from a Terrestrial Cyanobacterium, Nostoc sp. Strain UHCC 0450

Humisto, A. K., Jokela, J. K., Liu, L., Wahlsten, M. P-V., Wang, H., Permi, P. E. I., Machado, J. P., Antunes, A., Fewer, D. P. & Sivonen, A. K., Jan 2018, In : Applied and Environmental Microbiology. 84, 3, 14 p., e02321-17.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

Open Access
File

Activities 2011 2018

The 1st Nordic Algae Symposium

Antti Mattila (Attendee)
31 Jan 2018

Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesOrganisation and participation in conferences, workshops, courses, seminars

Breaking Borders With SmartBIO: SmartBIO Student Symposium

Antti Mattila (Speaker)
30 Aug 2018

Activity: Talk or presentation typesOral presentation

Medicinal Chemistry Meets Pharmacology

Antti Mattila (Attendee)
24 Apr 201825 Apr 2018

Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesOrganisation and participation in conferences, workshops, courses, seminars

John Innes/Rudjer Bošković Summer School on "Microbial Specialised Metabolites: From Genome to Molecule"

Antti Mattila (Poster Presentation)
8 Sep 201816 Sep 2018

Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesOrganisation and participation in conferences, workshops, courses, seminars

BLUE and GREEN: Summer School on Marine Sampling

Antti Mattila (Attendee)
19 Jun 201722 Jun 2017

Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesOrganisation and participation in conferences, workshops, courses, seminars