How many antibiotics are produced by the genus Streptomyces?

Citation
Mg. Watve et al., How many antibiotics are produced by the genus Streptomyces?, ARCH MICROB, 176(5), 2001, pp. 386-390
Citations number
27
Language
INGLESE
art.tipo
Editorial Material
Categorie Soggetti
Microbiology
Journal title
ARCHIVES OF MICROBIOLOGY
ISSN journal
0302-8933 → ACNP
Volume
176
Issue
5
Year of publication
2001
Pages
386 - 390
Database
ISI
SICI code
0302-8933(200111)176:5<386:HMAAPB>2.0.ZU;2-G
Abstract
Streptomyces is the largest antibiotic-producing genus in the microbial wor ld discovered so far. The number of antimicrobial compounds reported from t he species of this genus per year increased almost exponentially for about two decades, followed by a steady rise to reach a peak in the 1970s, and wi th a substantial decline in the late 1980s and 1990s. The cumulative number shows a sigmoid curve that is much flatter than what a logistic equation w ould predict. We attempted to fit a mathematical model to this curve in ord er to estimate the number of undiscovered antimicrobials from this genus as well as to predict the trends in the near future. A model assuming that th e screening efforts are encouraged by a previous year's success and that th e probability of finding a new antibiotic is a function of the fraction of antibiotics undiscovered so far offered a good fit after optimizing paramet ers. The model estimated the total number of antimicrobial compounds that t his genus is capable of producing to be of the order of a 100,000 - a tiny fraction of which has been unearthed so far. The decline in the slope appea red to be due to a decline in screening efforts rather than an exhaustion o f compounds. Left to itself, the slope will become zero in the next one or two decades, but if the screening efforts are maintained constant, the rate of discovery of new compounds will not decline for several decades to come .