BACKGROUNDThe Streptomyces albus J1074 strain is one of the most widely used chassis for the heterologous production of bioactive natural products. The fast growth and an efficient genetic system make this strain an attractive model for expressing cryptic biosynthetic pathways to aid drug discovery.RESULTSTo improve its capabilities for the heterologous expression of biosynthetic gene clusters, the complete genomic sequence of S. albus J1074 was obtained. With a size of 6,841,649 bp, coding for 5,832 genes, its genome is the smallest within the genus streptomycetes. Genome analysis revealed a strong tendency to reduce the number of genetic duplicates. The whole transcriptomes were sequenced at different time points to identify the early metabolic switch from the exponential to the stationary phase in S. albus J1074.CONCLUSIONSS. albus J1074 carries the smallest genome among the completely sequenced species of the genus Streptomyces. The detailed genome and transcriptome analysis discloses its capability to serve as a premium host for the heterologous production of natural products. Moreover, the genome revealed 22 additional putative secondary metabolite gene clusters that reinforce the strain's potential for natural product synthesis.