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Paul Orwin

"Both PKS and NRPS are multienzymes that are usually encoded by 3-6 genes in an operon. The giant genes of this type appear to be the result of gene fusion, the multiple enzymes now replaced by domains within a single protein. One can't help but wonder if this works well. If it does, one would expect these fused genes to be more widely distributed, not just strain-specific as they are."

This is a great point! I have been thinking about PKS/NRPS lately, and it seems that they come in lots of different sizes (in terms of individual genes as well as overall systems, as well as products). I wonder if there is any advantage to either, or maybe they just drift between transcriptional and translational fusion? There's a lot of functional diversity too (antibiotics/siderophores/surfactants and probably more that I don't know about) all of which seem like they ought to be pretty important in terms of environmental selection pressure.

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