Four bacterial hosts are reviewed in the context of either native or heterologous natural product production. E. coli, B. subtilis, pseudomonads, and Streptomyces bacterial systems are presented with each having either a long-standing or more recent application to the production of therapeutic natural compounds. The four natural product classes focused upon include the polyketides, nonribosomal peptides, terpenoids, and flavonoids. From the perspective of both innate and heterologous production potential, each bacterial host is evaluated according to biological properties that would either hinder or facilitate natural product biosynthesis.
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