Taxonomic and metabolic diversity of Actinomycetota isolated from faeces of a 28,000‐year‐old mammoth

Doris A. van Bergeijk, Hannah E. Augustijn, Somayah S. Elsayed, Joost Willemse, Victor J. Carrión, Chao Du, Mia Urem, Lena V. Grigoreva, Maksim Y. Cheprasov, Semyon Grigoriev, Hans Jansen, Bas Wintermans, Andries E. Budding, Herman P. Spaink, Marnix H. Medema, Gilles P. van Wezel* (Corresponding author)

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journal/periodicalArticleScientificpeer-review


Ancient environmental samples, including permafrost soils and frozen animal remains, represent an archive with microbial communities that have barely been explored. This yet unexplored microbial world is a genetic resource that may provide us with new evolutionary insights into recent genomic changes, as well as novel metabolic pathways and chemistry. Here, we describe Actinomycetota Micromonospora, Oerskovia, Saccharopolyspora, Sanguibacter and Streptomyces species were successfully revived and their genome sequences resolved. Surprisingly, the genomes of these bacteria from an ancient source show a large phylogenetic distance to known strains and harbour many novel biosynthetic gene clusters that may well represent uncharacterised biosynthetic potential. Metabolic profiles of the strains display the production of known molecules like antimycin, conglobatin and macrotetrolides, but the majority of the mass features could not be dereplicated. Our work provides insights into Actinomycetota isolated from an ancient source, yielding unexplored genomic information that is not yet present in current databases.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere16589
JournalEnvironmental Microbiology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2024

Research theme

  • Biodiversity


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