Genetics of actinorhodin biosynthesis by Streptomyces coelicolor A3(2)

J Gen Microbiol. 1979 Sep;114(1):35-43. doi: 10.1099/00221287-114-1-35.


A series of 76 mutants of Streptomyces coelicolor A3(2) specifically blocked in the synthesis of the binaphthoquinone antibiotic actinorhodin were classified into seven phenotypic classes on the basis of antibiotic activity, accumulation of pigmented precursors or shunt products of actinorhodin biosynthesis, and cosynthesis of actinorhodin in pairwise combinations of mutants. The polarity of cosynthetic reactions, and other phenotypic properties, allowed six of the mutant classes to be arranged in the most probable linear sequence of biosynthetic blocks. One member of each mutant class was mapped unambigiguously to the chromosomal linkage map in the short segment between the hisD and guaA loci, suggesting that structural genes for actinorhodin biosynthesis may form an uninterrupted cluster of chromosomal genes.

MeSH terms

  • Anthraquinones / metabolism
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / biosynthesis*
  • Chromosome Mapping
  • Chromosomes, Bacterial
  • Gene Frequency
  • Genetic Linkage
  • Mutation
  • Phenotype
  • Streptomyces / genetics*
  • Streptomyces / metabolism


  • Anthraquinones
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents