ARTS 2.0 : feature updates and expansion of the Antibiotic Resistant Target Seeker for comparative genome mining

Mungan, Mehmet Direnç; Alanjary, Mohammad; Blin, Kai; Weber, Tilmann; Medema, Marnix H.; Ziemert, Nadine


Multi-drug resistant pathogens have become a major threat to human health and new antibiotics are urgently needed. Most antibiotics are derived from secondary metabolites produced by bacteria. In order to avoid suicide, these bacteria usually encode resistance genes, in some cases within the biosynthetic gene cluster (BGC) of the respective antibiotic compound. Modern genome mining tools enable researchers to computationally detect and predict BGCs that encode the biosynthesis of secondary metabolites. The major challenge now is the prioritization of the most promising BGCs encoding antibiotics with novel modes of action. A recently developed target-directed genome mining approach allows researchers to predict the mode of action of the encoded compound of an uncharacterized BGC based on the presence of resistant target genes. In 2017, we introduced the 'Antibiotic Resistant Target Seeker' (ARTS). ARTS allows for specific and efficient genome mining for antibiotics with interesting and novel targets by rapidly linking housekeeping and known resistance genes to BGC proximity, duplication and horizontal gene transfer (HGT) events. Here, we present ARTS 2.0 available at ARTS 2.0 now includes options for automated target directed genome mining in all bacterial taxa as well as metagenomic data. Furthermore, it enables comparison of similar BGCs from different genomes and their putative resistance genes.