Expanding, integrating, sensing and responding: the role of Primary metabolism in specialised metabolite production

Lorena T. Fernandez-Martinez, Paul A. Hoskisson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)
1 Downloads (Pure)


Producing specialised metabolites such as antibiotics, immunosuppressives, anti-cancer agents and anti-helminthics draws on primary metabolism to provide the building blocks for biosynthesis. The growth phase-dependent nature of production means that producing organisms must deal with the metabolic conflicts of declining growth rate, reduced nutrient availability, specialised metabolite production and potentially morphological development. In recent years, our understanding of gene expansion events, integration of metabolic function and gene regulation events that facilitate the sensing and responding to metabolite concentrations has grown, but new data are constantly expanding our horizons. This review highlights the role evolutionary gene or pathway expansion plays in primary metabolism and examine the adoption of enzymes for specialised metabolism. We also look at recent insights into sensing and responding to metabolites.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)16-21
Number of pages6
JournalCurrent Opinion in Microbiology
Early online date18 Apr 2019
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2019


  • antibiotics
  • immunosuppressives
  • biosynthesis

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