John E. Wertz

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Microbes produce an extraordinary array of microbial defense systems. These include classical antibiotics, metabolic by-products, lytic agents, numerous types of protein exotoxins, and bacteriocins. The abundance and diversity of this potent arsenal of weapons are clear. Less clear are their evolutionary origins and the role they play in mediating microbial(More)
The bacteriocin family is the most abundant and diverse group of bacterial defense systems. Bacteriocins range from the well-studied narrow spectrum, high molecular weight colicins produced by Escherichia coli and the short polypeptide lantibiotics of lactic acid bacteria to the relatively unknown halocins produced almost universally by the haolobacteria.(More)
Bacteriocins are the most abundant and diverse defense systems in bacteria. As a result of the specific mechanisms of bacteriocin recognition and translocation into the target cell it is assumed that these toxins mediate intra-specific or population-level interactions. However, no published studies specifically address this question. We present here a(More)
The nucleotide sequence of a bacteriocin-encoding plasmid isolated from Klebsiella pneumoniae (pKlebB-K17/80) has been determined. The encoded klebicin B protein is similar in sequence to the DNase pyocins and colicins, suggesting that klebicin B functions as a nonspecific endonuclease. The klebicin gene cluster, as well as the plasmid backbone, is a(More)
A molecular phylogeny for seven taxa of enteric bacteria (Citrobacter freundii, Enterobacter cloacae, Escherichia coli, Hafnia alvei, Klebsiella oxytoca, Klebsiella pneumoniae, and Serratia plymuthica) was made from multiple isolates per taxa taken from a collection of environmental enteric bacteria. Sequences from five housekeeping genes (gapA, groEL,(More)
The complete nucleotide sequences of two bacteriocin-encoding plasmids isolated from Hafnia alvei (pAlvA and pAlvB) were determined. Both plasmids resemble ColE1-type replicons and carry mobilization genes, as well as colicin-like bacteriocin operons. These bacteriocins appear to be chimeras consisting of translocation domains from Tol-dependent colicins,(More)
Streptococcus pyogenes is a highly prevalent bacterial pathogen, most often giving rise to superficial infections at the throat or skin of its human host. Three genotype-defined subpopulations of strains exhibiting strong tropisms for either the throat or skin (specialists) or having no obvious tissue site preference (generalists) are recognized. Since the(More)
Increasing prevalence and severity of multi-drug-resistant (MDR) bacterial infections has necessitated novel antibacterial strategies. Ideally, new approaches would target bacterial pathogens while exerting selection for reduced pathogenesis when these bacteria inevitably evolve resistance to therapeutic intervention. As an example of such a management(More)
This report summarizes the activities and outcomes of the second workshop of the US Culture Collection Network, formally an activity of the US National Science Foundation sponsored Research Coordination Network for a Community of ex situ Microbial Germplasm Repositories. The workshop included presentations on topics as diverse as permitting for genetically(More)