Genetic instability in DSM 40697 is correlated with genomic instability characterized by multiple rearrangements (deletions and/or amplifications) occurring in a large unstable region. We have focused on one of the two amplifiable DNA loci which were mapped in this region: the amplifiable unit of DNA locus 6 (). The nucleotide sequence of one fragment of 1.9 kb reveals the presence of two open reading frames (ORF1 and ORF2) on the basis of the typical base composition at each of the three positions within codons. ORF1 shows some similarity with a gene encoding a regulatory protein. The presence of potential genes in this unstable locus was unexpected because deletions occurred with high frequency within this region in the genetic instability-derived mutant strains. However, transcription analyses by S1 nuclease protection experiments on the wild-type strain showed transcription of both ORF1 and ORF2. Moreover, the amplified strain reveals increased transcription of ORF1 but no transcription of ORF2. The amplification therefore results in a switch in transcription. The unstable region of DSM 40697 therefore is not a ‘silent’ region because at least some loci are transcribed.


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