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Francisco Barona-Gomez

Evolution of Metabolic Diversity

Francisco Barona-Gomez

Evolution of Metabolic Diversity

We are interested on the evolutionary and mechanistic aspects that allowed for the appearance of bacterial metabolism, including the genes, enzymes and metabolites, from a phylogenomics perspective. We use the group of actinobacteria, in particular Streptomyces, to experimentally and computationally explore evolutionary hypothesis, as well as comparative enzymology for the study of homologous enzyme families in vitro. Successful reconstruction of actinobacterial pathways starting from genomics data, has allowed us to postulate and explore novel hypothesis for the evolution of enzyme substrate-specificities. Similarly, the efficient reconstruction of metabolic pathways that direct the synthesis of novel and complex natural products, has allowed us to investigate the potential biological roles of these metabolites, as well as the driving evolutionary forces behind the diversification of these biosynthetic pathways.

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