The macrotetrolides are a family of cyclic polyethers derived from tetramerization, in a stereospecific fashion, of the enantiomeric nonactic acid (NA) and its homologs. Isotope labeling experiments established that NA is of polyketide origin, and biochemical investigations demonstrated that 2-methyl-6,8-dihydroxynon-2E-enoic acid can be converted into NA by a cell-free preparation from Streptomyces lividans that expresses nonS. These results lead to the hypothesis that macrotetrolide biosynthesis involves a pair of enantiospecific polyketide pathways. In this work, a 55-kb contiguous DNA region was cloned from Streptomyces griseus DSM40695, a 6.3-kb fragment of which was sequenced to reveal five open reading frames, including the previously reported nonR and nonS genes. Inactivation of nonS in vivo completely abolished macrotetrolide production. Complementation of the nonS mutant by the expression of nonS in trans fully restored its macrotetrolide production ability, with a distribution of individual macrotetrolides similar to that for the wild-type producer. In contrast, fermentation of the nonS mutant in the presence of exogenous (+/-)-NA resulted in the production of nonactin, monactin, and dinactin but not in the production of trinactin and tetranactin. These results prove the direct involvement of nonS in macrotetrolide biosynthesis. The difference in macrotetrolide production between in vivo complementation of the nonS mutant by the plasmid-borne nonS gene and fermentation of the nonS mutant in the presence of exogenously added (+/-)-NA suggests that NonS catalyzes the formation of (-)-NA and its homologs, supporting the existence of a pair of enantiospecific polyketide pathways for macrotetrolide biosynthesis in S. griseus. The latter should provide a model that can be used to study the mechanism by which polyketide synthase controls stereochemistry during polyketide biosynthesis.