The red gene cluster of Streptomyces coelicolor directs production of undecylprodiginine. Here we report that this gene cluster also directs production of streptorubin B and show that 2-undecylpyrrole (UP) is an intermediate in the biosynthesis of undecylprodiginine and streptorubin B. The redPQRKL genes are involved in UP biosynthesis. RedL and RedK are proposed to generate UP from dodecanoic acid or a derivative. A redK - mutant produces a hydroxylated undecylprodiginine derivative, whereas redL - and redK - mutants require addition of chemically synthesized UP for production of undecylprodiginine and streptorubin B. Fatty acid biosynthetic enzymes can provide dodecanoic acid, but efficient and selective prodiginine biosynthesis requires RedPQR. Deletion of redP, redQ, or redR leads to an 80%-95% decrease in production of undecylprodiginine and an array of prodiginine analogs with varying alkyl chains. In a redR - mutant, the ratio of these can be altered in a logical manner by feeding various fatty acids.