SUMMARY: A transposon Tn insertion between and has identified a new developmental locus, , in ::Tn affects both sporulation and germination. DNA on either side of the transposon has been cloned and includes the previously cloned and loci. terminates 2.1 kb from the end of the transposon. The ::Tn mutant is oligosporogenous, yielding approximately 1% of the number of wild-type heat resistant spores in liquid medium and 10% on solid medium. Six hours after the onset of sporulation alkaline phosphatase and glucose dehydrogenase levels were 90% and 7%, respectively, of those of the wild-type. At this time 50% of the mutant cells were still dividing. The occurrence of multiple polar septa and ‘pygmy’ cells suggested a block at stage II of sporulation. Following addition of germinants, mutant spores prepared on nutrient agar lost heat resistance normally but released slightly less dipicolinic acid than wild-type spores. They also showed only partial loss of optical density, associated with a phase-grey appearance and striations in the cortex suggesting partial degradation. Expression of the gene was monitored by production of β-galactosidase encoded by a promotorless gene fused to the :: Tn insertion. It occurred 1.5–4 h after commencement of sporulation. Transcription was directed from a promoter on the side of and was unaffected by a mutation in the gene.


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