Methods in molecular biology (Clifton, N.J.). 2021-01-01; 2327.161-189.

Identification of Oral Bacterial Biosynthetic Gene Clusters Associated with Caries

Baker JL, Edlund A

PMID: 34410645


Small molecules are a primary communication media of the microbial world, and play crucial, yet largely unidentified, roles in microbial ecology and disease pathogenesis. Many small molecules are produced by biosynthetic gene clusters, which can be predicted and analyzed computationally given a genome. A recent study examined the biosynthetic repertoire of the oral microbiome and cross-referenced this information against the disease status of the human host, providing leads for biosynthetic gene clusters, and their natural products, which may be key in the oral microbial ecology affecting dental caries and periodontitis. This chapter provides a step-by-step tutorial to bioinformatically to locate biosynthetic gene clusters within genomes, predict the type of natural products that are produced, and cross-reference the identified biosynthetic gene clusters to microbiomes associated with disease or health.