Chloramphenicol is a bacteriostatic antibiotic that inhibits bacterial protein synthesis.
Mechanism of Action
After entering a bacterial cell, chloramphenicol binds to the 50S ribosomal subunit preventing peptide bond formation. Resistance to chloramphenicol may be due to decreased cell permeability or a mutation in the 50S ribosomal subunit.
Chloramphenicol is a broad spectrum antibiotic targeting a wide variety of gram positive and gram negative bacteria especially those which cause meningitis.
Chloramphenicol is routinely used to select for transformed cells that express the chloramphenicol resistance gene, cat from a resistance plasmid at concentrations between 25 - 35 µg/mL.
Chloramphenicol is used as a selective agent in Dermasel agar, a growth media designed for selection of dermatophyte fungi from hair, nails, and skin scrapings.
ChromogenicCandida Agar - Candida Selective Supplement
Plant Biology Applications
Because chloroplasts are derived from Cyanobacteria, plants are susceptible to the effects of chloramphenicol. Chloramphenicol can therefore be used as a gene selection agent for resistant plants containing the cat gene.
Sharma K.K., Bhatnagar-Mathur P. and Thorpe T.A. Genetic transformation technology: status and problems. In Vitro Cell. Dev. Biol.—Plant 41:102–112, March–April 2005
Li W., Ruf S. and Bock R., Chloramphenicol acetyltransferase as selectable marker for plastid transformation. Plant Mol Biol (2011) 76:443–451
Mayer, Gene, Dr. "Antibiotics - Protein Synthesis, Nucleic Acid Synthesis, and Metabolism." University of South Carolina School of Medicine. Web. 21 Aug. 2012.
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