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FEMS Microbiol Lett. 1998 Nov 15;168(2):221-6.

Actinorhodin and undecylprodigiosin production in wild-type and relA mutant strains of Streptomyces coelicolor A3(2) grown in continuous culture.

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Department of Microbiology, College of Natural Sciences, Seoul National University, South Korea.


The effects of growth rate and nutrient feed rate on the production of actinorhodin (Act) and undecylprodigiosin (Red) were determined in Streptomyces coelicolor A3(2) and in a congenic relA null-mutant known to be deficient in ppGpp synthesis and antibiotic production under conditions of nitrogen limitation. In the relA+ strain, Act production was inversely related to specific growth rate in continuous cultures limited by glucose, ammonium, or phosphate, while Red biosynthesis was optimal at 0.05 h-1 regardless of the specific nutrient limitation. Production of Act and Red in the relA mutant was lower than that of the parental strain, particularly under conditions of glucose- and ammonium-limitation, indicating an important and general role for ppGpp in determining the onset of the antibiotic biosynthesis under conditions of nutrient limitation. At constant growth rate, but with varying nutrient feed rates, the specific rate of Act production was adversely influenced by increasing levels of glucose, ammonium, and phosphate, with phosphate having the greatest inhibitory effect. Under the same conditions, the specific rate of Red production was stimulated by increasing glucose levels, but markedly decreased by increased levels of phosphate.

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