Rapid and robust yeast-mediated pathway refactoring generates multiple new bottromycin-related metabolites.
Heterologous expression of biosynthetic gene clusters (BGCs) represents an attractive route to the production of new natural products, but is often hampered by poor yields. It is therefore important to develop tools that enable rapid refactoring, gene insertion/deletion and targeted mutations in BGCs. Ideally, these tools should be highly efficient, affordable, accessible, marker free, and flexible for use with a wide range of BGCs. Here, we present a one-step yeast-based method that enables efficient, cheap and flexible modifications to BGCs. Using the BGC for the antibiotic bottromycin, we showcase multiple modifications including refactoring, gene deletions and targeted mutations. This facilitated the construction of an inducible, riboswitch-controlled pathway that achieved a 120-fold increase in pathway productivity in a heterologous streptomycete host. Additionally, an unexpected biosynthetic bottleneck resulted in the production of a suite of new bottromycin-related metabolites.