Bacteria fouling pure culture comment

MZieg1234 mzieg1234 at
Mon Jan 2 21:41:33 EST 1995

Paul questioned in his note of 12/24 about gene migration and antibiotic
resistance. There is an enormous literature on this subject. There are at
least three types of transfer. Transformation is the direct transfer of
chemical genetic information (DNA or RNA). Transduction is the transfer of
information (drug resistance or other characteristics) by the vector of
bacterial virus. A third mechanism is R-factor transfer which is more
complicated but can involve mating of dissimilar genera through
facilitation by genetic factors. The above topics form the basis of much
of modern molecular biology (for a delightful account of the people
involved in this "golden age" of molecular biology see Eight Days of
Creation by Horace Judson). I am concerned that many cultivators promote
the routine use of gentimicin.  Resistant bacterial strains of all sorts
will eventually be selected (including human pathogens). Cross resistance
to other antibiotics is common and might make these pathogens difficult to
treat.  If I have bacterial contamination I autoclave and discard the
critters. This is painful to do with valuable cultures but... We all know
that the best cure is attention to detail and prevention.  Mike Ziegler

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