SUMMARY: Many K12 strains undergo switching between two forms which differ in a number of surface properties including colony morphology and the ability to auto-aggregate. This paper describes the identification of a gene which appears to play a part in controlling this switching phenomenon. This gene has been designated and is located at 89 minutes on the chromosome map between the operon and the gene. By manipulation of this gene it is possible to overcome the switching of surface properties and fix a strain in one form or the other. The gene has been cloned and its DNA sequence determined. The putative protein sequence shows a high level of homology with four regulatory genes, the and genes from and the gene from . It has also been shown that the gene is autoregulated at the transcriptional level.


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