Physiological role of germicidins in spore germination and hyphal elongation in Streptomyces coelicolor A3(2)

J Antibiot (Tokyo). 2011 Sep;64(9):607-11. doi: 10.1038/ja.2011.59. Epub 2011 Jul 27.


Four germicidin homologs were isolated from a liquid culture of Streptomyces coelicolor A3(2). These were identified as germicidins A, B and C, and surugapyrone A (germicidin D). Absolute stereochemistry of the chiral center in germicidins A and C is determined to be S. All germicidins inhibited germination of S. coelicolor A3(2) spores above 1 μg ml(-1). S. coelicolor A3(2) spores collected from a single petri dish (9 cm i.d.) contained 5.4 μg of germicidin A (-2.7 × 10(-14) g per spore), which accounts for 2.3% of the spore extract, and contents of germicidins B, C and D were 0.2-0.8 μg. The activity of the spore extract corresponded well with the sum of the activity of each germicidin, which was estimated from the content and dose-response curve, which indicates that germicidins functions as self-germination inhibitors in S. coelicolor A3(2). Inhibitory action of germicidin A on spore germination was reversible and germicidin A inhibited not only spore germination but also hyphal elongation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Pyrones / chemistry
  • Pyrones / isolation & purification
  • Pyrones / metabolism*
  • Spores, Bacterial / growth & development*
  • Streptomyces coelicolor / metabolism*


  • Pyrones
  • surugapyrone A
  • germicidin