Question: Origin of plasmids

wakeman wakeman at lamar.ColoState.EDU
Mon Oct 9 18:36:29 EST 1995

On Mon, 9 Oct 1995, Steven Sanyal wrote: 
> Most plasmids I have come across thus far have dealt with antibiotic 
> resistance genes - used for selections.  Did these genes evolve only 
> since the advent of antibiotics this century, or is it believed that they 
> existed before?  ie: were their natural antibiotic agents that existed 
> before - a sort of interbacterial warfare.

Yes, antibiotics are produced by other microorganisms.  I believe 
antibiotic resistance genes were originally produced by many soil 
microorganisms.  Carlos Amabile-Cuevas(sp?) has written some excellent books 
and articles on the subject.

WB Wakeman

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