A bacterium may be anti-fungal, but it’s not anti-retraction


The authors of a paper on an anti-fungal bacterium couldn’t ward off a very common problem: plagiarism. The people credited on the paper, published in Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology, apparently weren’t the original authors, according to the retraction note.

We’re not sure who the original authors are. The retraction note doesn’t elaborate much:

The Editor-in-Chief and the Associate Editors have decided to retract this article.

Upon investigation carried out according to the Committee on Publication Ethics guidelines, it has been found that the authors submitted an unpublished paper of which they are not the original authors.

The authors admitted their misconduct and agreed to retract this article.

The paper is about a member of the Streptomyces genus, many of which produce antibiotics.  According to the abstract of “Genome sequence and genome mining of a marine-derived antifungal bacterium Streptomyces sp. M10,” the DNA of the species was “sequenced and mined” to “evaluate its biosynthetic potential:”

This study affirmatively identified Streptomyces sp. M10 as a source of polyene metabolites and highlighted genome mining of interested organism as a powerful tool for natural product discovery.

The paper has been been cited once, according to Thomson Scientific’s Web of Knowledge.

A spokesperson for Springer, which publishes the journal, declined to provide further details on the investigation, telling us:

The details of the case are given in the retraction statement.  We cannot make any further comment at this point.

We’ve reached out to the corresponding author, Jian Peng at Central South University in China. We’ll update this post if we hear back.

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2 thoughts on “A bacterium may be anti-fungal, but it’s not anti-retraction”

  1. I hope something about this is published because “genome mining” sounds like a good way to find useful natural antibiotics as well as other useful substances… the DNA sequences can be planted in a yeast species with an appropriate amplifying technique to produce the substance in mass amounts in vats.

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