Cardiff University | Prifysgol Caerdydd ORCA
Online Research @ Cardiff 
WelshClear Cookie - decide language by browser settings

A rapid screening method for the detection of specialised metabolites from bacteria: induction and suppression of metabolites from Burkholderia species

Webster, Gordon ORCID:, Jones, Cerith ORCID:, Mullins, Alex J. ORCID: and Mahenthiralingam, Eshwar ORCID: 2020. A rapid screening method for the detection of specialised metabolites from bacteria: induction and suppression of metabolites from Burkholderia species. Journal of Microbiological Methods 178 , 106057. 10.1016/j.mimet.2020.106057
Item availability restricted.

[thumbnail of 1-s2.0-S0167701220307739-main.pdf]
PDF - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution.

Download (2MB) | Preview
[thumbnail of Webster et al MIMET_2020_581 Figs and Suppl revised.pdf] PDF - Supplemental Material
Restricted to Repository staff only
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives.

Download (840kB)


Screening microbial cultures for specialised metabolites is essential for the discovery of new biologically active compounds. A novel, cost-effective and rapid screening method is described for extracting specialised metabolites from bacteria grown on agar plates, coupled with HPLC for basic identification of known and potentially novel metabolites. The method allows the screening of culture collections to identify optimal production strains and metabolite induction conditions. The protocol was optimised on two Burkholderia species known to produce the antibiotics, enacyloxin IIa (B. ambifaria) and gladiolin (B. gladioli), respectively; it was then applied to strains of each species to identify high antibiotic producers. B. ambifaria AMMD and B. gladioli BCC0238 produced the highest concentrations of the respective antibiotic under the conditions tested. To induce expression of silent biosynthetic gene clusters, the addition of low concentrations of antibiotics to growth media was evaluated as known elicitors of Burkholderia specialised metabolites. Subinhibitory concentrations of trimethoprim and other clinically therapeutic antibiotics were evaluated and screened against a panel of B. gladioli and B. ambifaria. To enhance rapid strain screening with more antibiotic elicitors, antimicrobial susceptibility testing discs were included within the induction medium. Low concentrations of trimethoprim suppressed the production of specialised metabolites in B. gladioli, including the toxins, toxoflavin and bongkrekic acid. However, the addition of trimethoprim significantly improved enacylocin IIa concentrations in B. ambifaria AMMD. Rifampicin and ceftazidime significantly improved the yield of gladiolin and caryoynencin by B. gladioli BCC0238, respectively, and cepacin increased 2-fold with tobramycin in B. ambifaria BCC0191. Potentially novel metabolites were also induced by subinhibitory concentrations of tobramycin and chloramphenicol in B. ambifaria. In contrast to previous findings that low concentrations of antibiotic elicit Burkholderia metabolite production, we found they acted as both inducers or suppressors dependent on the metabolite and the strains producing them. In conclusion, the screening protocol enabled rapid characterization of Burkholderia metabolites, the identification of suitable producer strains, potentially novel natural products and an understanding of metabolite regulation in the presence of inducing or suppressing conditions.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Biosciences
Publisher: Elsevier
ISSN: 0167-7012
Funders: BBSRC
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 14 September 2020
Date of Acceptance: 10 September 2020
Last Modified: 06 Dec 2023 03:38

Citation Data

Cited 4 times in Scopus. View in Scopus. Powered By Scopus® Data

Actions (repository staff only)

Edit Item Edit Item


Downloads per month over past year

View more statistics