The August issue of Nature Chemical Biology (August 2017, Vol 13, No 8) published NIH SBIR supported research – “A scalable platform to identify fungal secondary metabolites and their gene clusters” by scientists from Intact Genomics, UW-Madison and Northwestern University. The cover page of that issue was an illustration of the Fungal Artificial Chromosomes (FAC) platform, which highlights the novelty and significance of FAC technology for the discovery of fungal natural products and potential drugs leads. For more details, click http://www.nature.com/nchembio/journal/v13/n8/covers/index.html.
The cover depicts conidiophores of the fungus Aspergillus nidulans carrying a fungal artificial chromosome (FAC), imaged by a scanning electron microscope and colored artificially. Filamentous fungi are prolific producers of secondary metabolites, and the combination of FAC technology with metabolomic scoring enables the high-throughput linkage of these metabolites with their biosynthetic gene clusters.