Summary: A 2.1 kbp DNA fragment from strain ATCC 21145 gave rise to the production of blue and pink pigments in when cloned downstream of a strong promoter. The sequence of this DNA fragment contains a single open reading frame with a putative ribosome-binding site, potentially coding for a single protein of 42 560. Deletion analysis and transcription-translation experiments support the hypothesis that pigment production in is due to a single enzyme whose catalytic activity is still unknown. This small pigment gene may become useful for the development of a new generation of chromogenic cloning vectors which do not require expensive substrates for the detection of gene expression.


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