Folia Microbiologica

, Volume 40, Issue 1, pp 4–16 | Cite as

Some developments in the biosynthesis of antibiotics

  • R. Thomas


In Prague in 1964, the participants in theInternational Congress on Antibiotics collectively presented an authoritative account of the existing understanding of the mechanism of biosynthesis of many of the major groups of antibiotics and other microbial metabolites. This information was derived to a large extent from applications of the then comparatively novel radioisotopic technique for studying the mode incorporation of labelled precursors. The intervening 30 years has witnessed remarkable progress in techniques for manipulating microbial genes and enzymes, while at the chemical level, advances in spectroscopic and chromatographic procedures have facilitated the use of stable isotopes as direct probes for the small scale exploration of metabolic pathways. As a consequence, our understanding of many mechanistic details has been considerably enhanced. Some of the developments to date will be reviewed, with particular reference to the elaboration of biosynthetic pathways leading to many of the antibiotics and other natural products described at the earlier Prague symposium.


Aflatoxin Celmer Ring Cleavage Antibiotic Substance Loganin 
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Copyright information

© Institute of Microbiology, Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • R. Thomas
    • 1
  1. 1.Biotics LimitedGuildfordUK

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