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Studies from University of California Describe New Findings in beta-Lactams (Structural variation among wild and industrial strains of Penicillium...

July 28, 2014

Studies from University of California Describe New Findings in beta-Lactams (Structural variation among wild and industrial strains of Penicillium chrysogenum)

By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Biotech Business Week -- Current study results on beta-Lactams have been published. According to news reporting out of Berkeley, California, by NewsRx editors, research stated, "Strain selection and strain improvement are the first, and arguably most important, steps in the industrial production of biological compounds by microorganisms. While traditional methods of mutagenesis and selection have been effective in improving production of compounds at a commercial scale, the genetic changes underpinning the altered phenotypes have remained largely unclear."

Our news journalists obtained a quote from the research from the University of California, "We utilized high-throughput Illumina short read sequencing of a wild Penicillium chrysogenum strain in order to make whole genome comparisons to a sequenced improved strain (WIS 54-1255). We developed an assembly-free method of identifying chromosomal rearrangements and validated the in silico predictions with a PCR-based assay and Sanger sequencing. Despite many rounds of mutagen treatment and artificial selection, WIS 54-1255 differs from its wild progenitor at only one of the identified rearrangements. We suggest that natural variants predisposed for high penicillin production were instrumental in the success of WIS 54-1255 as an industrial strain. In addition to finding a previously published inversion in the penicillin biosynthesis cluster, we located several genes related to penicillin production associated with these rearrangements."

According to the news editors, the research concluded: "By comparing the configuration of rearrangement events among several historically important strains known to be high penicillin producers to a collection of recently isolated wild strains, we suggest that wild strains with rearrangements similar to those in known high penicillin producers may be viable candidates for further improvement efforts."

For more information on this research see: Structural variation among wild and industrial strains of Penicillium chrysogenum. Plos One, 2014;9(5):e96784. (Public Library of Science -; Plos One -

Our news journalists report that additional information may be obtained by contacting V.L. Wong, Dept. of Plant and Microbial Biology, University of California Berkeley, Berkeley, California, United States. Additional authors for this research include C.E. Ellison, M.B. Eisen, L. Pachter and R.B Brem (see also beta-Lactams).

Keywords for this news article include: Berkeley, California, United States, North and Central America, Penicillins, beta Lactams, beta-Lactams.

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Source: Biotech Business Week

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