Antimicrobial resistance is one of the biggest threats to modern medicine therefore discovering new bioactive molecules is vital.
Rebecca is interested in the natural products of Streptomyces formicae, particularly the formicamycins; novel polyketide antibiotics with potent activity against MRSA.
She is especially interested in understanding how the biosynthesis of formicamycins is regulated, as well as understanding the mechanisms of host-resistance.
In addition, S. formicae appears to encode numerous other novel compounds within its genome. Rebecca is therefore using genome editing techniques such as CRISPR/Cas9 to mine the genome of this strain and identify further novel bioactive compounds.
Qin Z., Devine R., Hutchings M. I., Wilkinson B. (2019)A role for antibiotic biosynthesis monooxygenase domain proteins in fidelity control during aromatic polyketide biosynthesis.Nature communications (10)Publisher's version: 2041-1723
Qin Z,Devine R,Booth TJ,Farrar EH,Grayson MN,Hutchings MI,Wilkinson B (2020)Formicamycin biosynthesis involves a unique reductive ring contractionChemical SciencePublisher's version: 2041-6520 (print)