Macrolide and aminoglycoside antibiotic resistance mutations in the bacillus subtilis ribosome resulting in temperature-sensitive sporulation

Mol Gen Genet. 1981;183(3):538-43. doi: 10.1007/BF00268778.


Mutants of Bacillus subtilis resistant to various macrolide antibiotics have been isolated and characterized with respect to their sporulation phenotype and the electrophoretic mobility of their ribosomal proteins (r-proteins). Two types of major alterations of r-protein L17, one probably due to a small deletion, are found among mutants exhibiting high-level macrolide resistance. These mutants are all temperature-sensitive for sporulation (Spots). Low-level resistance to some macrolides is found to be associated with minor alterations in r-protein L17. These mutations do not cause a defective sporulation phenotype. All of the macrolide resistance mutations map at the same locus within the Str-Spc region of the B. subtilis chromosome. Hence, changes in a single ribosomal protein can result in different sporulation phenotypes. Mutants resistant to the aminoglycoside antibiotics neomycin and kanamycin have been isolated. Approximately 5% of these are Spots. Representative mutations, neo162 and kan25, cause concomitant drug resistance and sporulation temperature-sensitivity and map a single-site lesions in the Str-Spc region of the chromosome. Strains bearing neo162 or kan25 are equally cross-resistant to streptomycin or spectinomycin. These mutations define a new B. subtilis drug resistance locus at which mutation can cause defective sporulation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Aminoglycosides / pharmacology
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / pharmacology
  • Bacillus subtilis / genetics*
  • Bacillus subtilis / physiology
  • Bacterial Proteins / genetics
  • Drug Resistance, Microbial*
  • Mutation*
  • Phenotype
  • Ribosomal Proteins / genetics
  • Spores, Bacterial


  • Aminoglycosides
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Bacterial Proteins
  • Ribosomal Proteins