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J Bacteriol. 2004 Jun;186(11):3570-7.

Novel genes that influence development in Streptomyces coelicolor.

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Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02138, USA.


Filamentous soil bacteria of the genus Streptomyces carry out complex developmental cycles that result in sporulation and production of numerous secondary metabolites with pharmaceutically important activities. To further characterize the molecular basis of these developmental events, we screened for mutants of Streptomyces coelicolor that exhibit aberrant morphological differentiation and/or secondary metabolite production. On the basis of this screening analysis and the subsequent complementation analysis of the mutants obtained we assigned developmental roles to a gene involved in methionine biosynthesis (metH) and two previously uncharacterized genes (SCO6938 and SCO2525) and we reidentified two previously described developmental genes (bldA and bldM). In contrast to most previously studied genes involved in development, the genes newly identified in the present study all appear to encode biosynthetic enzymes instead of regulatory proteins. The MetH methionine synthase appears to be required for conversion of aerial hyphae into chains of spores, SCO6938 is a probable acyl coenzyme A dehydrogenase that contributes to the proper timing of aerial mycelium formation and antibiotic production, and SCO2525 is a putative methyltransferase that influences various aspects of colony growth and development.

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