Mutants blocked in penicillin biosynthesis show a deletion of the entire penicillin gene cluster at a specific site within a conserved hexanucleotide sequence

Appl Microbiol Biotechnol. 1996 Jan;44(5):597-604. doi: 10.1007/BF00172491.


The organization of the genes of the penicillin cluster has been studied in three different mutants of P. chrysogenum impaired in penicillin biosynthesis. The three blocked mutants (derived from the parental strain P. chrysogenum Bb-1) lacked the genes pcbAB, pcbC and penDE of the penicillin biosynthetic pathway and were unable to form isopenicillin N synthase and isopenicillin N acyltransferase. All strains were identified as P. chrysogenum derivatives by fingerprinting analysis with (GTG)n as a probe. The borders of the deleted region were cloned and sequenced, showing the same junction point in the three mutants. The deleted DNA region was found to be identical to that described in P. chrysogenum npe10. The frequent deletion of the pen gene cluster at this point may indicate that this cluster is located in an unstable genetic region, flanked by hot spots of recombination, that is easily lost by mutagen-induced recombination.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Base Sequence
  • Conserved Sequence
  • Gene Deletion
  • Genes, Bacterial*
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Multigene Family*
  • Mutation
  • Penicillins / biosynthesis*
  • Penicillium chrysogenum / genetics*
  • Recombination, Genetic


  • Penicillins