Summary: Insertional mutagenesis has revealed that a 22 kbp segment from the region of the 168 chromosome (310° on the genetic map) contains at least six independent transcription units, all apparently devoted to production of cell envelope components. Genes concerned with synthesis of poly(glycerol phosphate), poly(groP), an essential cell wall polymer in 168, are organized in two divergently transcribed operons denoted and . Nucleotide sequence analysis indicates that three of these six genes encode extremely basic polypeptides. The deduced products of the operon may be involved in poly(groP) assembly and export, whereas those of the operon, which are very hydrophilic, are more likely to be implicated in poly(groP) precursor biosynthesis. The first gene of the operon encodes glycerol-3-phosphate cytidylyltransferase (Pooley , 1991, 137, 921–928) and its deduced product has significant homology with cholinephosphate cytidylyltransferase from yeast. There is also substantial homology between the deduced products of in the operon and in the operon.


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