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Appl Microbiol. 1971 Jul;22(1):6-10.

Antibiotic synthesis and morphological differentiation of Cephalosporium acremonium.


In submerged cultures, Cephalosporium acremonium exists in four morphological forms: hyphae, arthrospores, conidia, and germlings. The phase of hyphal differentiation into arthrospores coincides with the maximum rate of beta-lactam antibiotic synthesis. Furthermore, arthrospores, separated by density-gradient centrifugation, possess 40% greater antibiotic-producing activity than any other morphological cell type. In a series of mutants, each with an increased potential to produce beta-lactam antibiotics, differentiation into arthrospores was proportional to the increased titer of these antibiotics. Thus, arthrospores exhibit enhanced synthesis of beta-lactam antibiotics and appear to be a determining factor in high-yielding mutants. Since a non-antibiotic-producing mutant readily differentiated into arthrospores, antibiotic synthesis and cellular differentiation are not obligately related.

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