Query: NC_009142:2480608 Saccharopolyspora erythraea NRRL 2338, complete genome Lineage: Saccharopolyspora erythraea; Saccharopolyspora; Pseudonocardiaceae; Actinomycetales; Actinobacteria; Bacteria General Information: Source of the antibiotic erythromycin. Saccharopolyspora erythraea is the soil bacterium that produces the industrially important antibiotic erythromycin A. Erythromycin is a clinically important and potent macrolide antibiotic. It is used to treat infections caused by several prokaryotic pathogens such as Streptococcus, Staphylococcus, Mycoplasma, Ureaplasma, Chlamydia and Legionella. Production of this antibiotic is lower than others in the same class, such as penicillin or cephalosporin, which has led to the development of a genetic system to attempt to enhance the production of erythromycin.
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General Information: This strain (ATCC 31267) was isolated and characterized in 1978 by R. Burg and colleagues from a soil sample collected in Shizuoka Prefecture, Japan. Antibiotic-producing bacterium. The characteristic earthy smell of freshly plowed soil is actually attributed to the aromatic terpenoid geosmin produced by species of Streptomyces. There are currently 364 known species of this genus, many of which are the most important industrial producers of antibiotics and other secondary metabolites of antibacterial, antifungal, antiviral, and antitumor nature, as well as immunosuppressants, antihypercholesterolemics, etc. Streptomycetes are crucial in the soil environment because their diverse metabolism allows them to degrade the insoluble remains of other organisms, including recalcitrant compounds such as lignocelluloses and chitin. Streptomycetes produce both substrate and aerial mycelium. The latter shows characteristic modes of branching, and in the course of the streptomycete complex life cycle, these hyphae are partly transformed into chains of spores, which are often called conidia or arthrospores. An important feature in Streptomyces is the presence of type-I peptidoglycan in the cell walls that contains characteristic interpeptide glycine bridges. Another remarkable trait of streptomycetes is that they contain very large (~8 million base pairs which is about twice the size of most bacterial genomes) linear chromosomes with distinct telomeres. These rearrangements consist of the deletion of several hundred kilobases, often associated with the amplification of an adjacent sequence, and lead to metabolic diversity within the Streptomyces group. Sequencing of several strains of Streptomyces is aimed partly on understanding the mechanisms involved in these diversification processes. This organism is a well known producer of the anti-parasitic agent avermectin which is widely used to rid livestock of worm and insect infestations and to protect large numbers of people from river blindness in sub-Saharan Africa.