David Hopwood

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David Hopwood
Born (1933-08-19) 19 August 1933 (age 88)[1]
Alma mater
Scientific career
ThesisGenetical and Cytological Studies on Actinomycetes (1973)
Doctoral studentsJohn Beringer[3]
Mervyn Bibb[4][5]
Deng Zixin[6]

Sir David Alan Hopwood FRS (born 19 August 1933) is a British microbiologist and geneticist.[1][2][7][8]


Educated at Purbrook Park County High School and Lymm Grammar School, Hopwood gained his Bachelor of Arts degree from St John's College, Cambridge[1] and his PhD from the University of Glasgow in 1973.[9]


Hopwood served as an assistant lecturer in genetics at Cambridge until he became a Lecturer in Genetics at the University of Glasgow in 1961.[10] He later became John Innes Professor of Genetics at the University of East Anglia. He is now an Emeritus Fellow in the Department of Molecular Microbiology at the John Innes Centre.[10]

Awards and honours[edit]

Hopwood was awarded the Gabor Medal in 1995 "in recognition of his pioneering and leading the growing field of the genetics of Streptomyces coelicolor A3(2), and for developing the programming of the pervasive process of polyketide synthesis".[11] In 2002, he co-authored the sequencing of the S. coelicolor A3(2) genome.[7] During more than forty years he has been studying the genetics and molecular biology of the model actinomycete S. coelicolor.[12]

Hopwood was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1979 [13] and delivered their Leeuwenhoek Lecture in 1987. He is also the author of Streptomyces in Nature and Medicine: The Antibiotic Makers

His nomination for the Royal Society reads:

Professor Hopwood has done outstanding work on the genetics of actinomycetes. He discovered genetic recombination of Streptomyces and developed original systems of genetic mapping which led him to the demonstration of a circular linkage group. This mapping work was important both in strengthening the generalization that the prokaryotes in general have circular chromosomes and in showing a tendency towards symmetry in the map suggestive of evolution by genome doubling. His electron microscope studies (with A. Glauert) showed beyond doubt the prokaryotic affinities of Streptomyces and demonstrated for the first time the existence of membranous "organelles" in continuity with plasma membrane. He has shown that the fertility system of Streptomyces coelicolor involves a sex factor associated with a plasmid. In the course of these studies he has discovered the first clear example of a plasmid-encoded antibiotics synthesis. Hopwood and his group have also extended the genetic analysis to other species of Streptomyces and Nocardia and demonstrated efficient DNA-mediated transformation to Thermoactinomyces. Current studies are directed towards the genetic analysis of development in S. coelicolor. While G. Semonti made some of the basic observations on recombination independently, Hopwood has been the prime mover in most of the advances. He now has an established international reputation as the leading pioneer and authority in what has become a very important aspect of microbial genetics.[14]


  1. ^ a b c "HOPWOOD, Sir David (Alan)". Who's Who 2014, A & C Black, an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing plc, 2014; online edn, Oxford University Press.(subscription required)
  2. ^ a b David Hopwood publications indexed by Google Scholar
  3. ^ "About us".
  4. ^ Bibb, M. J.; Ward, J. M.; Hopwood, D. A. (1978). "Transformation of plasmid DNA into Streptomyces at high frequency". Nature. 274 (5669): 398–400. Bibcode:1978Natur.274..398B. doi:10.1038/274398a0. PMID 672966. S2CID 4221380.
  5. ^ Freeman, R. F.; Bibb, M. J.; Hopwood, D. A. (1977). "Chloramphenicol acetylransferase-independent chloramphenicol resistance in Streptomyces coelicolor A3(2)". Journal of General Microbiology. 98 (2): 453–65. doi:10.1099/00221287-98-2-453. PMID 856941.
  6. ^ "Deng Zixin". Shanghai Jiao Tong University. Retrieved 8 October 2016.
  7. ^ a b Bentley, S. D.; Chater, K. F.; Cerdeño-Tárraga, A. -M.; Challis, G. L.; Thomson, N. R.; James, K. D.; Harris, D. E.; Quail, M. A.; Kieser, H.; Harper, D.; Bateman, A.; Brown, S.; Chandra, G.; Chen, C. W.; Collins, M.; Cronin, A.; Fraser, A.; Goble, A.; Hidalgo, J.; Hornsby, T.; Howarth, S.; Huang, C. -H.; Kieser, T.; Larke, L.; Murphy, L.; Oliver, K.; O'Neil, S.; Rabbinowitsch, E.; Rajandream, M. -A.; et al. (2002). "Complete genome sequence of the model actinomycete Streptomyces coelicolor A3(2)". Nature. 417 (6885): 141–7. Bibcode:2002Natur.417..141B. doi:10.1038/417141a. PMID 12000953. S2CID 4430218.
  8. ^ Hopwood, D. A. (1997). "Genetic Contributions to Understanding Polyketide Synthases". Chemical Reviews. 97 (7): 2465–2498. doi:10.1021/cr960034i. PMID 11851466.
  9. ^ Hopwood, David Alan (1973). Genetical and Cytological Studies on Actinomycetes (PhD thesis). University of Glasgow.
  10. ^ a b "Sir David Hopwood". John Innes Centre. Retrieved 5 February 2009.
  11. ^ "Gabor previous winners 2005 - 1989". The Royal Society. Retrieved 5 February 2009.
  12. ^ Hopwood, D. A. (1999). "Forty years of genetics with Streptomyces: From in vivo through in vitro to in silico". Microbiology. 145 (9): 2183–202. doi:10.1099/00221287-145-9-2183. PMID 10517572.
  13. ^ "Fellows". Royal Society. Retrieved 28 January 2011.
  14. ^ "Library and Archive Catalogue EC/1979/16: Hopwood, Sir David Alan". London: The Royal Society. Archived from the original on 7 April 2014. Retrieved 7 April 2014.