Plant response to the antibiotic ciprofloxacin
Melisa Wall and Tony Maxwell, John Innes Centre
The model plant, Arabidopsis thaliana, surprisingly contains the bacterial supercoiling enzyme DNA gyrase that is a target for a number of antibiotics, including the fluoroquinolone drug ciprofloxacin. Treatment of plant seedlings, shown here, with certain antibiotics results in the loss of the plant’s green colour (due to chlorophyll) and ultimately the death of the plant. This observation by scientists at the John Innes Centre on the Norwich Research Park raises the prospect of developing herbicides based on existing antibiotic targets.