Use of elicitors to enhance or activate the antibiotic production in streptomyces

Gongli Zong, Jiafang Fu, Peipei Zhang, Wenchi Zhang, Yan Xu, Guangxiang Cao, Rongzhen Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Streptomyces is the largest and most significant genus of Actinobacteria, comprising 961 species. These Gram-positive bacteria produce many versatile and important bioactive compounds; of these, antibiotics, specifically the enhancement or activation of their production, have received extensive research attention. Recently, various biotic and abiotic elicitors have been reported to modify the antibiotic metabolism of Streptomyces, which promotes the production of new antibiotics and bioactive metabolites for improvement in the yields of endogenous products. However, some elicitors that obviously contribute to secondary metabolite production have not yet received sufficient attention. In this study, we have reviewed the functions and mechanisms of chemicals, novel microbial metabolic elicitors, microbial interactions, enzymes, enzyme inhibitors, environmental factors, and novel combination methods regarding antibiotic production in Streptomyces. This review has aimed to identify potentially valuable elicitors for stimulating the production of latent antibiotics or enhancing the synthesis of subsistent antibiotics in Streptomyces. Future applications and challenges in the discovery of new antibiotics and enhancement of existing antibiotic production using elicitors are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1260-1283
Number of pages24
JournalCritical Reviews in Biotechnology
Issue number8
StatePublished - 2022


  • Streptomyces
  • antibiotic production
  • bioactive compound
  • elicitor activation
  • novel antibiotics
  • regulatory mechanism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology
  • Biotechnology


Dive into the research topics of 'Use of elicitors to enhance or activate the antibiotic production in streptomyces'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this