Department of Energy Argonne National Laboratory Office of Science NEWTON's Homepage NEWTON's Homepage
NEWTON, Ask A Scientist!
NEWTON Home Page NEWTON Teachers Visit Our Archives Ask A Question How To Ask A Question Question of the Week Our Expert Scientists Volunteer at NEWTON! Frequently Asked Questions Referencing NEWTON About NEWTON About Ask A Scientist Education At Argonne Streptomycin Dependent Mutant
Name: Precha
Status: Educator
Grade:  Other
Location: N/A
Country: United States
Date: May 2005

Dear Scientists,
I used to read a scientific article and came across a phrase "streptomycin dependent mutant". My question is how this bug can not grow without the antibiotic streptomycin? What is molecular basis of this phenotype? How is such mutant created?

Streptomycin kills bacteria by binding to one of the proteins comprising ribosomes and in so doing inhibits protein synthesis. Mutations (resulting in aminn acid subsittutions in the ribosomal proteins) is one of the ways in which bacteria become resistant to streptomycin. Sometimes these mutations result in a ribosomal protein that requires the binding of streptomycin to the protein in order for the protein to properly function during protein synthesis and thus the bacterium is dependent on the binding of streptomycin to the ribosome.

Ron Baker, Ph.D.

Click here to return to the Molecular Biology Archives

NEWTON is an electronic community for Science, Math, and Computer Science K-12 Educators, sponsored and operated by Argonne National Laboratory's Educational Programs, Andrew Skipor, Ph.D., Head of Educational Programs.

For assistance with NEWTON contact a System Operator (, or at Argonne's Educational Programs

Educational Programs
Building 360
9700 S. Cass Ave.
Argonne, Illinois
60439-4845, USA
Update: June 2012
Weclome To Newton

Argonne National Laboratory