Genetic soil prospecting yields wealth of potential antibiotics

(University of California – Berkeley) Though soil bacteria have provided some of our best antibiotics, the drugs come from a small group of all the microbes in soil. UC Berkeley and Berkeley Lab scientists used metagenomics to sequence all the genomes of soil microbes in a teaspoon of soil to search for molecules that look like antibiotics. They found several hundred clusters of genes similar to the genes of known antibiotics, plus other complex and possibly useful molecules.