Dr Ryan Seipke

BA, Adrian College; PhD, Cornell University - 2008
Lecturer in Bacteriology
School of Molecular and Cellular Biology

Background: 2008-2009, USDA-funded postdoc with Rosemary Loria, Department of Plant Pathology and Plant-Microbe Biology, Cornell University; 2009-2012, MRC-funded postdoc with Matthew Hutchings, School of Biological Sciences, University of East Anglia; 2012-2013, NERC-funded postdoc with Matthew Hutchings, School of Biological Sciences, University of East Anglia. Appointed Lecturer in Bacteriology 2013.

Contact: Garstang 8.52a, +44(0) 113 34 35604, email address for  

You can read more about Dr Seipke's interests here:

Research Interests

Actinomycete natural products: discovery, biosynthesis, regulation and understanding their role in the environment

The research group is interested in the biology of actinomycete bacteria. Actinomycetes are renowned for their diverse secondary metabolism and the production of industrially- and medically-important natural products, and in recent years for living in protective symbioses with higher organisms (i.e. insects, plants, animals). The major focus of the group is natural product discovery, understanding and manipulating natural product biosynthesis, and developing synthetic biology tools to engineer new therapeutics. Longer term, we are interested in better understanding the role of natural products in the environment and during host-microbe interactions.


Faculty Research and Innovation

Modules managed

BIOL2110 - The Power of Bacterial Genomics

Modules taught

BIOC3160 - Laboratory/Literature/Computing Research Project
BIOC3231/32/BIOL3211/MICR3212 b - ATU - Discovery of new antibiotics and other natural product therapeutics
BIOL2110 - The Power of Bacterial Genomics
BIOL3305 - Advanced Skills in the Biosciences
BIOL3306 - Biological Sciences Research Project
BIOL5382M - Extended Research Project
BIOL5394M - Specialised Research Topics and Skills
BLGY1124/1128 - The Diversity of Life/Living Planet
BLGY1128 - Living Planet
MICR1120 - Introduction to Microbiology
MICR1320 - Skills for Microbiologists
MICR2320 - Skills for Microbiologists 2
MICR3080 - Microbiology Research Project

Centre membership: The Astbury Centre for Structural Molecular Biology

Group Leader Dr Ryan Seipke  (Lecturer in Bacteriology)

Actinomycete natural products: discovery, biosynthesis, regulation and understanding their role in the environment 


Asif Fazal (Primary supervisor) 50% FTE
Connor Macey (Primary supervisor) 50% FTE
Divya Thankachan (Primary supervisor) 90% FTE
Ayat Al-Tarawni (Co-supervisor) 40% FTE

van der Heul HU, Bilyk BL, McDowall KJ, Seipke RF, van Wezel GP Regulation of antibiotic production in Actinobacteria: new perspectives from the post-genomic era. Natural product reports, 2018
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Skyrud W, Liu J, Thankachan D, Cabrera M, Seipke RF, Zhang W Biosynthesis of the 15-membered ring depsipeptide neoantimycin ACS Chemical Biology, 2018
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Holmes NA, Devine R, Qin Z, Seipke RF, Wilkinson B, Hutchings MI Complete genome sequence of Streptomyces formicae KY5, the formicamycin producer Journal of Biotechnology 265 116-118, 2018
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Joynt R, Seipke RF A phylogenetic and evolutionary analysis of antimycin biosynthesis Microbiology (United Kingdom) 164 28-39, 2018
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Nass NM, Farooque S, Hind C, Wand ME, Randall CP, Sutton JM, Seipke RF, Rayner CM, O'Neill AJ Revisiting unexploited antibiotics in search of new antibacterial drug candidates: The case ofγ-actinorhodin Scientific Reports 7, 2017
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Som NF, Heine D, Holmes N, Knowles F, Chandra G, Seipke RF, Hoskisson PA, Wilkinson B, Hutchings MI The MtrAB two-component system controls antibiotic production in Streptomyces coelicolor A3(2 Microbiology 163 1415-1419, 2017
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Som NF, Heine D, Holmes NA, Munnoch JT, Chandra G, Seipke RF, Hoskisson PA, Wilkinson B, Hutchings MI The conserved actinobacterial two-component system MtrAB coordinates chloramphenicol production with sporulation in Streptomyces venezuelae NRRL B-65442 Frontiers in Microbiology 8, 2017
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Qin Z, Munnoch JT, Devine R, Holmes NA, Seipke RF, Wilkinson KA, Wilkinson B, Hutchings MI Formicamycins, antibacterial polyketides produced by Streptomyces formicae isolated from African Tetraponera plant-ants Chemical Science 8 3218-3227, 2017
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McLean TC, Hoskisson PA, Seipke RF Coordinate regulation of antimycin and candicidin biosynthesis mSphere 1, 2016
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Medema MH, Kottmann R, Yilmaz P, Cummings M, Biggins JB, Blin K, de Bruijn I, Chooi YH, Claesen J, Coates RC, Cruz-Morales P, Duddela S, Duesterhus S, Edwards DJ, Fewer DP, Garg N, Geiger C, Gomez-Escribano JP, Greule A, Hadjithomas M, Haines AS, Helfrich EJN, Hillwig ML, Ishida K, Jones AC, Jones CS, Jungmann K, Kegler C, Kim HU, Koetter P, Krug D, Masschelein J, Melnik AV, Mantovani SM, Monroe EA, Moore M, Moss N, Nuetzmann H-W, Pan G, Pati A, Petras D, Reen FJ, Rosconi F, Rui Z, Tian Z, Tobias NJ, Tsunematsu Y, Wiemann P, Wyckoff E, Yan X, Yim G, Yu F, Xie Y, Aigle B, Apel AK, Balibar CJ, Balskus EP, Barona-Gomez F, Bechthold A, Bode HB, Borriss R, Brady SF, Brakhage AA, Caffrey P, Cheng Y-Q, Clardy J, Cox RJ, De Mot R, Donadio S, Donia MS, van der Donk WA, Dorrestein PC, Doyle S, Driessen AJM, Ehling-Schulz M, Entian K-D, Fischbach MA, Gerwick L, Gerwick WH, Gross H, Gust B, Hertweck C, Hofte M, Jensen SE, Ju J, Katz L, Kaysser L, Klassen JL, Keller NP, Kormanec J, Kuipers OP, Kuzuyama T, Kyrpides NC, Kwon H-J, Lautru S, Lavigne R, Lee CY, Linquan B, Liu X, Liu W, and 55 other authors Minimum Information about a Biosynthetic Gene cluster NATURE CHEMICAL BIOLOGY 11 625-631, 2015

Seipke RF Strain-level diversity of secondary metabolism in Streptomyces albus PLoS ONE 10, 2015
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Liu J, Zhu X, Seipke RF, Zhang W Biosynthesis of antimycins with a reconstituted 3-formamidosalicylate pharmacophore in Escherichia coli. ACS Synth Biol 4 559-565, 2015
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Gao H, Grüschow S, Barke J, Seipke RF, Hill LM, Orivel J, Yu DW, Hutchings M, Goss RJM Filipins: The first antifungal "weed killers" identified from bacteria isolated from the trap-ant RSC Advances 4 57267-57270, 2014
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Seipke RF, Patrick E, Hutchings MI Regulation of antimycin biosynthesis by the orphan ECF RNA polymerase sigma factorσ (AntA.). PeerJ 2, 2014
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Seipke RF, Hutchings MI The regulation and biosynthesis of antimycins Beilstein Journal of Organic Chemistry 9 2556-2563, 2013
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Seipke RF, Barke J, Heavens D, Yu DW, Hutchings MI Analysis of the bacterial communities associated with two ant-plant symbioses. MicrobiologyOpen 2 276-283, 2013
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Clark LC, Seipke RF, Prieto P, Willemse J, Van Wezel GP, Hutchings MI, Hoskisson PA Mammalian cell entry genes in Streptomyces may provide clues to the evolution of bacterial virulence Scientific Reports 3, 2013
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Moore JM, Bradshaw E, Seipke RF, Hutchings MI, McArthur M Use and discovery of chemical elicitors that stimulate biosynthetic gene clusters in streptomyces bacteria Methods in Enzymology 517 367-385, 2012
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Seipke RF, Kaltenpoth M, Hutchings MI Streptomyces as symbionts: an emerging and widespread theme? FEMS Microbiol Rev 36 862-876, 2012
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Seipke RF, Barke J, Ruiz-Gonzalez MX, Orivel J, Yu DW, Hutchings MI Fungus-growing Allomerus ants are associated with antibiotic-producing actinobacteria. Antonie Van Leeuwenhoek 101 443-447, 2012
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Seipke RF, Grüschow S, Goss RJM, Hutchings MI Isolating antifungals from fungus-growing ant symbionts using a genome-guided chemistry approach. Methods Enzymol 517 47-70, 2012
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Seipke RF, Song L, Bicz J, Laskaris P, Yaxley AM, Challis GL, Loria R The plant pathogen Streptomyces scabies 87-22 has a functional pyochelin biosynthetic pathway that is regulated by TetR- and AfsR-family proteins. Microbiology 157 2681-2693, 2011
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Seipke RF, Crossman L, Drou N, Heavens D, Bibb MJ, Caccamo M, Hutchings MI Draft genome sequence of Streptomyces strain S4, a symbiont of the leaf-cutting ant Acromyrmex octospinosus. J Bacteriol 193 4270-4271, 2011
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Seipke RF, Barke J, Brearley C, Hill L, Yu DW, Goss RJM, Hutchings MI A single Streptomyces symbiont makes multiple antifungals to support the fungus farming ant Acromyrmex octospinosus. PLoS One 6 e22028-, 2011
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Barke J, Seipke RF, Yu DW, Hutchings MI A mutualistic microbiome: How do fungus-growing ants select their antibiotic-producing bacteria? Commun Integr Biol 4 41-43, 2011
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Barke J, Seipke RF, Grüschow S, Heavens D, Drou N, Bibb MJ, Goss RJM, Yu DW, Hutchings MI A mixed community of actinomycetes produce multiple antibiotics for the fungus farming ant Acromyrmex octospinosus. BMC Biol 8 109-, 2010
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Bignell DRD, Seipke RF, Huguet-Tapia JC, Chambers AH, Parry RJ, Loria R Streptomyces scabies 87-22 contains a coronafacic acid-like biosynthetic cluster that contributes to plant-microbe interactions. Mol Plant Microbe Interact 23 161-175, 2010
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Seipke RF, Loria R Hopanoids are not essential for growth of Streptomyces scabies 87-22. J Bacteriol 191 5216-5223, 2009
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Seipke RF, Loria R Streptomyces scabies 87-22 possesses a functional tomatinase. J Bacteriol 190 7684-7692, 2008
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Loria R, Bignell DRD, Moll S, Huguet-Tapia JC, Joshi MV, Johnson EG, Seipke RF, Gibson DM Thaxtomin biosynthesis: the path to plant pathogenicity in the genus Streptomyces. Antonie Van Leeuwenhoek 94 3-10, 2008
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