Antibiotic Synthesis in Streptomyces species is intimately coordinated with their complex developmental cycle and is enabled by the presence of dedicated biosynthetic machinery, encoded within Biosynthetic Gene Clusters.
It is now known that any individual species of Streptomyces (of which there are many) possess anywhere from around 5-40 BGCs. However, many of these remain silent or poorly expressed under laboratory conditions.
For his PhD, Lucas studies Streptomyces bacteria at as a Postgraduate Researcher.
Specifically, his project aims to determine the genetic regulators which globally coordinate antibiotic production with development. Moreover, it aims to explore any opportunity to exploit regulatory networks in order to discover novel antimicrobial compounds, more reliably.