Tuesday, September 07, 2010
Streptomyces are soil bacteria that serve as the major source of most of our clinically useful antibiotics. Generally speaking, bacteria are thought to have a somewhat staid sex life, characterized by asexual reproduction. 3CPG members James Doroghazi and Dan Buckley's recent work, published in The ISME Journal, suggests that Streptomyces may have a somewhat racier lifestyle. It seems that promiscuity may pay in Streptomyces as some species maintain a sexual population structure and there is widespread genetic exchange between different species in the genus.