Summary: A mutant of (BLU166) sensitive to its own antibiotic bacitracin was isolated and the mutation was mapped close to the bacitracin synthetase genes. The sensitivity was shown to be specific for bacitracin. Two further bacitracin-sensitive strains were constructed, one (BLU171) with normal ability to synthesize bacitracin, and one (BLU170) a bacitracin non-producer. In addition to an increased sensitivity of growing cells to bacitracin, sporulation of the mutant strain BLU171 was self-inhibited by bacitracin. It is concluded that (1) there might exist at least two levels of resistance to bacitracin; (2) mutation affects a ‘structural’ component, which may protect the sensitive reaction of cell-wall biosynthesis; (3) sporulation is affected to a greater extent by bacitracin than vegetative growth; and (4) synthesis of bacitracin is independent of the presence of this resistance mechanism since the sensitive mutant produces similar amounts of the antibiotic to the wild-type strain.


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