Genetic analyses of mutations for increased penicillin titre were carried out on two strains of isolated after independent programmes of recurrent mutation and selection, similar to those used industrially for strain improvement. Both selected strains were stable in terms of colony morphology and penicillin titre. Backcrosses to the un-selected ancestor indicated that the increased yield of each strain was due to an induced polygenic system with both additive and non-additive gene action. The titre-increasing mutations in one strain (A6-9) were recessive to their wild-type alleles, while those in the other (B6-27) were either semi-dominant or showed ambidirectional dominance. The diploid between A6-9 and B6-27 had a titre less than either component haploid, suggesting that the mutations in the two strains involved different genes. Strain B6-27 carried a translocation between chromosomes III and VII which had been induced during the selection programme. This investigation complements previous work on the genetics of penicillin production in and and the results are directly relevant to industrial strain improvement by hybridization of divergent strains.


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