Lucy Foulston, Kim Findlay and Mervyn Bibb (John Innes Centre)
The rise in antibiotic-resistant bacteria has resulted in an urgent need for new, clinically useful antibiotics. Research carried out at the John Innes Centre on the Norwich Research Park has revealed how the actinomycete M. corallina produces a very potent antibiotic, microbisporicin, which is active against a wide range of bacterial pathogens. These studies have enabled the researchers to increase the level of microbisporicin production and to begin Phase I clinical trials.
This scanning electron micrograph image shows branching aerial filaments (hyphae) with pairs of spores (blobs) on the ends which give the bacterium part of its name - bispora.