The biosynthetic mta gene cluster responsible for myxothiazol formation from the fruiting body forming myxobacterium Stigmatella aurantiaca DW4/3-1 was sequenced and analyzed. Myxothiazol, an inhibitor of the electron transport via the bc(1)-complex of the respiratory chain, is biosynthesized by a unique combination of several polyketide synthases (PKS) and nonribosomal peptide synthetases (NRPS), which are activated by the 4'-phosphopantetheinyl transferase MtaA. Genomic replacement of a fragment of mtaB and insertion of a kanamycin resistance gene into mtaA both impaired myxothiazol synthesis. Genes mtaC and mtaD encode the enzymes for bis-thiazol(ine) formation and chain extension on one pure NRPS (MtaC) and on a unique combination of PKS and NRPS (MtaD). The genes mtaE and mtaF encode PKSs including peptide fragments with homology to methyltransferases. These methyltransferase modules are assumed to be necessary for the formation of the proposed methoxy- and beta-methoxy-acrylate intermediates of myxothiazol biosynthesis. The last gene of the cluster, mtaG, again resembles a NRPS and provides insight into the mechanism of the formation of the terminal amide of myxothiazol. The carbon backbone of an amino acid added to the myxothiazol-acid is assumed to be removed via an unprecedented module with homology to monooxygenases within MtaG.