On the origin of antibiotics and mycotoxins

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Abstract

Antibiotics and mycotoxins share many remarkable similarities in structure, metabolic roles and biosynthesis, indicating their differences are primarily in the minds and economies of man, not the perspectives of producing organisms. Antibiotic/mycotoxin biosynthetic gene packages appear to have been assembled by transposon-mediated processes combining genes acquired horizontally from plants and other soil microbes with genes from the producing organism'-s own genome. Probable gene sources include those for the synthesis and secretion of plant phytoalexins, toxins, allelochemicals, pheromones, germination inhibitors and pigments, and bacterial quorum-sensors and siderophores. Understanding antibiotic origins may assist in the discovery and creation of new antibiotics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)6-30
Number of pages25
JournalToxin Reviews
Volume30
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 1 2011

Keywords

  • Biosynthesis
  • active efflux protein
  • allelochemical
  • phytoalexin
  • siderophore
  • transposon

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