Constructing polyketides: From collie to combinatorial biosynthesis

Ronald Bentley, J. W. Bennett

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

72 Scopus citations


In a new golden age, polyketides are investigated and manipulated with the tools of molecular biology and genetics; hybrid polyketides can be produced. Pharmaceutical companies hope to find new and useful polyketide products, including antibiotics, anthelminthics, and immunosuppressants. This review describes the past developments (largely chemical) on which the present investigations are based, attempts to make sense of the expanding scope of polyketides, looks at the shifting research focus around polyketides, presents a working definition in biosynthetic terms, and takes note of recent work in combinatorial biosynthesis. Also discussed is the failure of the classical enzymological approach to polyketide biosynthesis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)411-446
Number of pages36
JournalAnnual Review of Microbiology
StatePublished - 1999
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Microbiology


  • Genetic engineering
  • Hybrid polyketides
  • Polyacetate hypothesis
  • Polyketide synthases
  • Secondary metabolites

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