Bacteriocin

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Bacteriocins are proteinaceous toxins produced by bacteria to inhibit the growth of similar or closely related bacterial strain(s). They are typically considered to be narrow spectrum antibiotics, though this has been debated.[1] They are phenomenologically analogous to yeast and paramecium killing factors, and are structurally, functionally, and ecologically diverse.

Bacteriocins were first discovered by A. Gratia in 1925.[2][3] He was involved in the process of searching for ways to kill bacteria, which also resulted in the development of antibiotics and the discovery of bacteriophage, all within a span of a few years. He called his first discovery a colicine because it killed E. coli.

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Classification of bacteriocins

Bacteriocins are categorized in several ways, including producing strain, common resistance mechanisms, and mechanism of killing. There are several large categories of bacteriocin which are only phenomenologically related. These include the bacteriocins from gram-positive bacteria, the colicins [4], the microcins, and the bacteriocins from Archaea. The bacteriocins from E. coli are called colicins (formerly called 'colicines,' meaning 'coli killers'). They are the longest studied bacteriocins. They are a diverse group of bacteriocins and do not include all the bacteriocins produced by E. coli. For example the bacteriocins produced by Staphylococcus warneri are called as warnerin[5] or warnericin. In fact, one of the oldest known so-called colicins was called colicin V and is now known as microcin V. It is much smaller and produced and secreted in a different manner than the classic colicins. The bacteriocins of lactic acid-fermenting bacteria are called lantibiotics.[citation needed]

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