Plasmids carrying different portions of the polycistronic locus, and unable to replicate autonomously in , were able to transform a Spo strain, 151, for the plasmid-determined chloramphenicol resistance by Campbell-like insertion into the region of homology on the chromosome. Two such plasmids, p35 and p36, yielded Spo-transformants, indicating that the cloned regions of these plasmids were entirely within the chromosomal transcriptional unit. The cloned regions overlapped the end of a known cistron, so that the transcriptional unit was larger than this cistron, and was polycistronic. This is the first demonstration of such a polycistronic sporulation transcriptional unit. The sequence of the region has now been determined (given in an accompanying paper) and suggests a transcriptional unit with three open reading frames. Two other plasmids yielded Spo transformants of 151, and these define the outer limits of the transcriptional unit. The adjacent sporulation locus identified by the mutation was not part of the same transcriptional unit.


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