The genome sequence of the mould, which Sir Alexander Fleming first discovered penicillin, has been sequenced for the first time after freeze-drying, which may bring new innovation in antibiotic production. At one of the most accidental moments in medical history, a simple accident in 1928 led to a discovery that saved millions of lives, inspired the modern antibiotic industry, and helped change the course of medicine. In August 1928, sir Fleming went to his hometown in Suffolk, England. Before leaving his laboratory at St Mary’s hospital medical school, now part of Imperial College London, he began to grow Staphylococcus aureus in Petri dishes.
when he came back in September, Fleming found the lid of a plate opened and a blue-green mold growing in agar gel. Instead of throwing away the contaminated medium, he examined it more carefully and found that no Staphylococcus aureus was found in the area where the mold grew. The fungus was found in Penicillium by Fleming. It was eventually found that it could produce an antibiotic compound, which was then isolated and named penicillin. < / P > < p > however, things came to an end here, because large-scale production could not be achieved at that time. Until World War II, when penicillin strains from the United States were found to grow on melons and the yield was still at a high level, the drug effect of penicillin was raised. < / P > < p > with the strong support of the U.S. Department of the army, a new production method of the drug has been developed. In 1944, when the Allied forces landed in Normandy, there were about 2.3 million doses of penicillin available, which rose to 646 billion doses in 1945. As a result, the number of soldiers killed and amputated has decreased by 15% — a fact that has greatly helped the end of the war and the defeat of the axis powers. < / P > < p > after that, the original penicillin samples were kept at Imperial College London, but scientists from the University, cabi and Oxford University were unable to sequence the bacterial genomes after a series of experiments on some samples. < / P > < p > to correct this oversight, the team extracted DNA from freeze-dried samples, sequenced it, and compared it with the published genomes of two industrial Penicillium strains from the United States. As a result, they found that, although strains from the United Kingdom and the United States had similar genetic codes, the strains in the United States had more copies of the regulatory genes used to make penicillin. However, the penicillin producing enzymes of the two strains are different, indicating that their wild ancestors naturally evolved to produce different enzymes. < / P > < p > according to the team, this is important because antibiotics like penicillin have become increasingly ineffective as bacteria evolve resistance. Since the U.S. and U.K. strains have evolved differently in treating native bacteria, studying their differences and how they are produced can provide clues for increasing penicillin production. “Our research may help stimulate new solutions to antibiotic resistance,” says ayush pathak of the Department of life sciences at Imperial College of technology. The industrial production of penicillin is concentrated on the yield, and the steps used to increase the yield artificially lead to the change of gene quantity. But industrial methods may miss some of the solutions to optimize penicillin design, and we can learn from the natural response to the evolution of antibiotic resistance. ” Global Tech