In this issue


Microbiology Australia Microbiology Australia
Issue 2

Vertical Transmission, May 2004

The March issue of Microbiology Australia contained important information about the various awards and prizes available to ASM members. The closing date for most of these is 1 June 2004. I would like to encourage members to either apply for or to nominate a colleague for one of these awards

PDF file Download Article

Actinomycetes, the millennium bugs: in Melbourne for the 13th International Symposium on the Biology of Actinomycetes

The 13th International Symposium on the Biology of Actinomycetes was held at the Melbourne Convention Centre from 1-5 December 2003. The Conference welcomed 355 participants from over 35 countries, with the excellent support of the Government of Victoria. In particular, Dr Amanda Caples, Director of Biotechnology for the State Government of Victoria was very supportive throughout the event. The Honorable Matt Viney, Parliamentary Secretary of the Victorian Government for the Innovation and Industry, Department of Industry Innovation and Regiona...

PDF file Download Article

Genomes full of promise

Since the first bacterial genome was sequenced in 1995, over 100 others have been completed. They include many pathogens, as well as other bacteria chosen for their special interest, whether academic or applied. The resulting knowledge is revolutionising our understanding of the bacterial world.

PDF file Download Article

Streptomycetes and beyond

In terms of commercial value, the streptomycetes rank high among the bacteria, having been the principal source of numerous and valuable therapeutic agents for more than half a century. The current world market for antibiotics is upwards of $US 25 million/year, of which a significant proportion are the products of bacterial fermentation, mainly from Streptomyces species. In terms of the industrial exploitation of microbial products in general, only the yeasts are more important, having provided humans with sustenance and pleasure for thousands ...

PDF file Download Article

Taxonomy as a roadmap for search and discovery

The ?golden age? of antibiotic therapy is threatened by new, existing, emerging and re-emerging pathogens. Since the first penicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus was noted in 1951, a half-century of successful anti-infective therapy has been built on the discovery of new antibiotics and their second, third and fourth generation derivatives.

PDF file Download Article

Functional genomics of Streptomyces coelicolor

Following the decision, in the late 1990s, to sequence the genome of Streptomyces coelicolor A3(2), the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) of the UK committed substantial funding for a coordinated functional genomics programme aimed at building a detailed understanding of this model actinomycete species.

PDF file Download Article

Streptomyces viewed from the inside: the application of proteomics to a model streptomycete

Streptomyces coelicolor A3(2) has become the model system for this genus of antibiotic-producing bacteria, thanks to the life-time commitment of Sir David Hopwood to its genetic analysis. The determination of its complete genome sequence has made it an even more valuable model, opening up many analytical possibilities that emerge directly from the sequence, and also various functional genomics approaches.

PDF file Download Article

Contributions of methylenomycin to the genetics of antibiotic production

In the early 1970s, shortly after David Hopwood established his Streptomyces coelicolor group at the John Innes Institute in Norwich, UK, Alan Vivian showed that a non-chromosomal genetic element, SCP1 caused production of, and resistance to, a diffusible inhibitory substance. At the same time, in Japan, Haneishi and colleagues had identified an antibiotic produced by Streptomyces violaceoruber SANK 95570 (a close relative of S. coelicolor), as the epoxycyclopentanone antibiotic methylenomycin.

PDF file Download Article

Superhosts for polyketide drug production

Polyketides are a rich source of therapeutic agents used in human medicine, including antibiotics, antifungals, immunosuppressants and anticancer agents. Sometimes the natural producer of these polyketides can be difficult, or impossible, to cultivate. More often, the titre of the desired polyketide is very low.

PDF file Download Article

Streptomyces coelicolor in an oxygen-limited liquid environment: adapt and escape

Streptomycetes are mycelial soil bacteria that undergo a complex developmental cycle on solid media. Spores germinate and form a branched, vegetative mycelium. Several signals trigger the formation of hydrophobic aerial hyphae that differentiate further into reproductive chains of spores. Differentiation is accompanied by the production of secondary metabolites, e.g. antibiotics.

PDF file Download Article

Streptomycetes and anaerobic stress survival

Despite not having evolved to grow anaerobically, Streptomyces coelicolor can nevertheless survive long periods of oxygen deprivation, apparently by metabolically ?ticking over?. Remarkably, this survival strategy has not been adopted by all streptomycetes. Streptomycetes are ubiquitous, filamentous gram-positive soil bacteria that have had a major impact in the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries. The complex nature of soil means that streptomycetes have had to evolve a broad range of metabolic pathways to enable them to survive in th...

PDF file Download Article

Alkaliphilic streptomycetes as a source of novel secondary metabolites

Ongoing efforts in the development of new anti-infective drugs from nature are necessary to overcome permanent resistance against clinically significant antibiotics, especially by pathogenic Gram-positive bacteria. This problem cannot be solved by expanding existing chemical libraries because the chemical diversity in such libraries is narrower than that of natural products 1, and because the chemical diversity of natural products cannot be mimicked by organic chemists.

PDF file Download Article

Biodiscovery programme conducted at the Gause Institute, Moscow, Russia

The Gause Institute of New Antibiotics, Russian Academy of Medical Sciences, in Moscow, Russia, was established in 1953. For more than 25 years it was headed by late Professor GF Gause and, from 1986, it was directed by the late Professor Yurii V Dudnik. In the process of screening for new biologically active substances, a number of antibiotics were developed based on original strains isolated in the Institute, and these were produced on industrial scale for the pharmaceutical industry. These include antibacterial antibiotics gramicidin S, mono...

PDF file Download Article

Exploiting and expanding actinomycete diversity for antibiotic discovery

Actinomycetes are soil microbes well known for their ability to produce a wide variety of bioactive compounds, including antibacterial, antifungal, antitumour and immunosuppressants agents. Close to 50% of the known microbial products are produced by actinomycetes. In particular, the discovery, development and clinical use of antibiotics has been one of the most significant medical advances in the 20th century, and antibiotics are probably the most prescribed class of drugs. However, the effectiveness of many antibiotics has been severely dimin...

PDF file Download Article

Horizontal gene transfer within streptomycetes

Currently, the wealth of data available for studying bacterial genotypes provided by genome sequencing has resulted in an increased interest in horizontal gene transfer (HGT). It appears that there has been considerably more gene flow horizontally than was first thought. The extent of HGT was reported in the case of E. coli and Salmonella enterica, where both lineages had each gained and lost more than 3Mb of novel DNA since their divergence some 100 million years ago.

PDF file Download Article

Uniqueness of the ?Smart State?s? microbial diversity

Biotechnology is based on the search for, and discovery of, exploitable biological resources. The course of biotechnology search and discovery starts with the assembly of appropriate biological materials. It then moves through screening for a desired attribute and selecting the best option from among a short list of positive screening hits, and culminates in the development of a commercial product or process.

PDF file Download Article

ASM Affairs, May 2004

Selective Isolation of Rare Actinomycetes; Emerging Microbiologists; Award nominations invited; Standing Committee on Clinical Microbiology; Obituary: Dr Eric Lancelot French; Branch reports

PDF file Download Article


RSS Free subscription to our email Contents Alert. Or register for the free RSS feed.