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Biosynthesis of Chlorinated Lactylates in Sphaerospermopsis sp. LEGE 00249

revised on 28.08.2020 and posted on 31.08.2020 by Kathleen Abt, Raquel Castelo-Branco, Pedro Leao
Lactylates are an important group of molecules in the food and cosmetic industries. A series of natural halogenated 1-lactylates – chlorosphaerolactyaltes (1-4) – were recently reported from Sphaerospermopsis sp. LEGE 00249. Here, we identify the cly biosynthetic gene cluster, containing all the necessary functionalities to generate and release the natural lactylates. Using a combination of stable isotope-labeled precursor feeding and bioinformatic analysis, we propose that dodecanoic acid and pyruvate are the key building blocks in the biosynthesis of 1-4. We additionally report minor analogues of these molecules with varying alkyl chains. The discovery of the cly gene cluster paves the way to accessing industrially-relevant lactylates through pathway engineering.


Fatty acid incorporation and modification in cyanobacterial natural products

European Research Council

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PTDC/BIA-BQM/29710/2017 (Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia)


Email Address of Submitting Author


Interdisciplinary Centre of Marine and Environmental Research (CIIMAR/CIMAR), University of Porto



ORCID For Submitting Author


Declaration of Conflict of Interest

There are no Conflicts of Interest