A Pseudoalteromonas clade with remarkable biosynthetic potential

Rocky Chau, Leanne A. Pearson, Jesse Cain, John A. Kalaitzis, Brett A. Neilan*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


Pseudoalteromonas species produce a diverse range of biologically active compounds, including those biosynthesized by nonribosomal peptide synthetases (NRPSs) and polyketide synthases (PKSs). Here, we report the biochemical and genomic analysis of Pseudoalteromonas sp. strain HM-SA03, isolated from the blue-ringed octopus, Hapalochlaena sp. Genome mining for secondary metabolite pathways revealed seven putative NRPS/PKS biosynthesis gene clusters, including those for the biosynthesis of alterochromides, pseudoalterobactins, alteramides, and four novel compounds. Among these was a novel siderophore biosynthesis gene cluster with unprecedented architecture (NRPS-PKS-NRPS-PKS-NRPS-PKS-NRPS). Alterochromide production in HM-SA03 was also confirmed by liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry. An investigation of the biosynthetic potential of 42 publicly available Pseudoalteromonas genomes indicated that some of these gene clusters are distributed throughout the genus. Through the phylogenetic analysis, a particular subset of strains formed a clade with extraordinary biosynthetic potential, with an average density of 10 biosynthesis gene clusters per genome. In contrast, the majority of Pseudoalteromonas strains outside this clade contained an average of three clusters encoding complex biosynthesis. These results highlight the underexplored potential of Pseudoalteromonas as a source of new natural products. Importance This study demonstrates that the Pseudoalteromonas strain HM-SA03, isolated from the venomous blue-ringed octopus, Hapalochalaena sp., is a biosynthetically talented organism, capable of producing alterochromides and potentially six other specialized metabolites. We identified a pseudoalterobactin biosynthesis gene cluster and proposed a pathway for the production of the associated siderophore. A novel siderophore biosynthesis gene cluster with unprecedented architecture was also identified in the HM-SA03 genome. Finally, we demonstrated that HM-SA03 belongs to a phylogenetic clade of strains with extraordinary biosynthetic potential. While our results do not support a role of HM-SA03 in Hapalochalaena sp. venom (tetrodotoxin) production, they emphasize the untapped potential of Pseudoalteromonas as a source of novel natural products.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere02604-20
Pages (from-to)1-16
Number of pages16
JournalApplied and Environmental Microbiology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • Pseudoalteromonas
  • Alteromonas
  • nonribosomal peptide
  • polyketide
  • siderophore
  • antiSMASH
  • genome
  • bacteriocin
  • lanthipeptide


Dive into the research topics of 'A Pseudoalteromonas clade with remarkable biosynthetic potential'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this