Aigle B, Corre C
Streptomycete bacteria are renowned as a prolific source of natural products with diverse biological activities. Production of these metabolites is often subject to transcriptional regulation: the biosynthetic genes remain silent until the required environmental and/or physiological signals occur. Consequently, in the laboratory environment, many gene clusters that direct the biosynthesis of natural products with clinical potential are not expressed or at very low level preventing the production/detection of the associated metabolite. Genetic engineering of streptomycetes can unleash the production of many new natural products. This chapter describes the overexpression of pathway-specific activators, the genetic disruption of pathway-specific repressors, and the main strategy used to identify and characterize new natural products from these engineered Streptomyces strains.