Biomedical potential of natural products derived through metagenomic approaches
Microbes are ubiquitous, irrespective of the environment they thrive in, are fascinating source of natural products for several decades. Culturable microbes are an extremely minor fraction when compared to the unculturable part. Many studies have attempted to circumvent this problem since early the 2000s by various culture independent metagenomic approaches. Metagenomics is the ‘study of genetic material recovered directly from microbes’ of environmental samples using a variety of ‘genomic techniques’. Metagenomic approach based discovery resulted in a gamut of natural compounds with unique structural and functional diversity with proven anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, anti-cancer, anti-proliferative and anti-inflammatory properties. This review describes the approaches, biomedical potential of natural product gene clusters and physico-chemical properties of compounds derived using metagenomic approaches.