Our mission is to develop multidisciplinary approaches for natural products research and increasing the efficiency of biological control agents (for crop protection) and therapeutics (for human disease) discovery. The promise of unprecedented structural diversity and potent biological activity from natural products remained powerful forces driving therapeutics discovery. We have incorporated in situ metabolomics (imaging mass spectrometry), comparative metabolomics (molecular networking) and genome/transcriptome mining as an integrated strategy for microbial natural products research. Imaging mass spectrometry can be used to monitor the distribution and dynamics of metabolites in microbial interactions. Molecular networking can be used to efficiently dereplicate and identify the target metabolites. Genome and transcriptome mining would explore the structural information via the analysis of biosynthetic gene clusters of unidentified natural products, and further, to predict their biological functions. The output would lead us to understand the progression and mechanisms of agricultural diseases. We anticipate that through such investigations we will be able to develop new therapeutic leads or new biological control methods.
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