1887

Abstract

In heterocystous cyanobacteria, heterocyst differentiation is accompanied by developmentally regulated DNA rearrangements that occur within the and genes, referred to as the and elements. These elements are segments of DNA that are embedded within the coding region of each gene and range from 4 to 24 kb in length. The and elements are independently excised from the genome during the later stages of differentiation by the site-specific recombinases, XisA and XisC, respectively, which are encoded within the elements themselves. Here we examine the variation and evolution of the and elements by comparing full-length and element sequences and by phylogenetic analysis of and gene sequences. There is considerable variation in the size and composition of the and elements, however, conserved regions are also present within representatives of each element. The data suggest that the and elements have undergone a complex pattern of insertions, deletions, translocations and sequence divergence over the course of evolution, but that conserved regions remain.

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2011-12-01
2019-10-23
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