About the iimena project
By combining innovative antibacterial screenings and compound dereplication strategies on one of the largest strain collections, we will identify new talented producers that can biosynthesize promising antibiotics. Their biosynthetic pathways will be identified using in silico genome mining and experimental validation. For the latter, a highly automated cloning and expression platform will be established along with synthetic biology tools for the producing organisms. The production of novel antibiotics from newly identified BGCs will be triggered by engineering of the original producers and heterologous expression of the BGCs in actinomycetes or our IIMENA chassis strains. Based on the acquisition of omics data, we will identify general regulatory processes to overcome the commonly observed switch-off of BGCs. In addition, stateof-the-art metabolic modeling technology will be deployed, which will involve an integrated multi-layered modeling (e.g., expression and regulation) and/or secondary metabolite biosynthetic pathway generation. New expression chassis strains will be designed on the basis of state-of-the art metabolic models that will be complemented with secondary metabolite specific reactions. Finally, candidate compounds with the desired antimicrobial profile to be identified will be subjected to pre-clinical testing to evaluate their potential as novel antibiotic leads.