Evolution of Antibiotic Resistance and Production Genes in Streptomycetes
Increasing amounts of DNA and protein sequence data became available recently from genetic studies on antibiotic production and resistance in both producing and resistant bacteria. This sequence information mirrors the current state of a long-term evolution which obviously very early have lead to complete pathways, which in later stages have diversified or degenerated, or became individualized especially in the actinomycete group of microorganisms. Examples are the pathways for betalactams polyketides, and aminoglycosides (Hershberger et al., 1989; Cundliffe, 1989; Martin and Liras, 1989). Also, convergently evolved genetic traits have to be postulated. The resistance genes coding for antibiotic or target site modifying enzymes (phospho-, acetyl-, adenylyl-, and methyltransferases) seem to have a central position in the overal development which created the secondary metabolic pathways for the respective — mostly ribosomal targeted — antibiotics and the concomitant gathering of genes to larger clusters (Piepersberg et al., 1988). Also, they could be derived from other control genes such as for regulatory protein kinases or for ribosomal processing.
KeywordsChloramphenicol Acetyl Transferase Secondary Metabolic Pathway Regulatory Protein Kinase Additional Amino Acid Residue Streptomycin Production
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