Discovery of three novel sesquiterpene synthases from Streptomyces chartreusis NRRL 3882 and crystal structure of an α-eudesmol synthase

Octavia Natascha Kracht, Raquel S. Correia Cordeiro, Maria Håkansson, Julia Stockmann, Dennis Sander, Julia Bandow, Christoph H.R. Senges, Derek T. Logan, Robert Kourist

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


With more than 50,000 members, terpenoids are one of the most important classes of natural products and show an enormous diversity. Due to their unique odors and specific bioactivities they already find wide application in the flavor, fragrance and pharma industries. Since most terpenoids can only be obtained by natural product extraction, the discovery of biosynthetic genes for the generation of terpene diversity becomes increasingly important. This study describes the discovery of three novel sesquiterpene synthases from Streptomyces chartreusis with preference for the formation of germacradiene-11-ol, α-eudesmol and α-amorphene respectively. The α-eudesmol synthase showed formation of 10-epi-δ-eudesmol and elemol as side products. Eudesmol-isomers are known to have repellent activity, which makes this enzyme a potential catalyst for products for the prevention of mosquito-related disease. The determination of the structure of the apo-enzyme of α-eudesmol synthase from S. chartreusis provides the first structural insights into an eudesmol-forming enzyme.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)71-77
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Biotechnology
Publication statusPublished - 20 May 2019



  • Eudesmol
  • Insect repellant
  • Sesquiterpenes
  • Streptomyces chartreusis
  • Terpene synthesis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Bioengineering
  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology

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