Co-developer: Kai Blin
The secondary metabolism of bacteria and fungi constitutes a rich source of bioactive compounds of potential pharmaceutical value.
Interestingly, the genes encoding the biosynthetic pathway responsible for the production of such secondary metabolites are very often spatially clustered together at a certain position on the chromosome; such a compendium of genes is referred to as a 'biosynthetic gene cluster'.
This genetic architecture has opened up the possibility for straightforward detection of secondary metabolite biosynthesis pathways by locating their gene clusters. In recent years, the costs of sequencing bacterial and fungi has dropped dramatically, and many genome sequences have become available. Based on profile Hidden Markov Models of genes that are specific for certain types of gene clusters, antiSMASH is able to accurately identify the gene clusters encoding secondary metabolites of all known broad chemical classes.
Moreover, antiSMASH also offers detailed functional and comparative analysis, including a preliminary prediction of the chemical structures of encoded compounds and MultiGeneBlast-empowered gene cluster alignment.