Isolation and characterization of comL, a transcription unit involved in competence development of Bacillus subtilis
Transcription unit comL
Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
Summary Using the transformation-deficient mutant M465, which was previously isolated by means of insertional mutagenesis with plasmid pHV60, a transcription unit comL required for genetic competence of Bacillus subtilis was identified. A chromosomal DNA fragment flanking the inserted pHV60 was isolated and used to screen two different libraries of B. subtilis DNA in phage lambda EMBL4 and lambda EMBL12, respectively. With the aid of six recombinant phages that hybridize with this chromosomal fragment a restriction map of about 23 kb of B. subtilis chromosomal DNA was constructed. Using small adjoining pieces of this chromosomal DNA in Campbell integrations, the size of the transcription unit involved in competence development could be delimited to about 15 kb. By insertion of a promoterless lacZ gene into comL, the transcriptional regulation of comL was analysed and epistatic interactions among various other com genes were determined. The results of these experiments indicated that comL is optimally expressed in glucose-based minimal medium when the culture enters the stationary phase of growth and that the expression of late competence genes is dependent on previous transcription of comL, which in turn is dependent on the gene products of comA and comB.
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