A new insertion sequence element, was found to be associated with inactivation of the alcohol dehydrogenase by insertion in the gene encoding subunit III of the three-component membrane-bound alcohol dehydrogenase complex in Cloning and sequencing analyses of the mutated subunit III gene locus revealed that was inserted at or near the ribosome-binding sequence of Analysis of transcription using the chloramphenicol acetyltransferase gene as the reporter indicated that abolished transcription of by separating its promoter from the subunit III structural gene. was 1411 bp in length and had a terminal inverted repeat of 21 bp. contained one long ORF of 416 amino acids rich in basic amino acids. This protein showed homology with a putative transposase, Tra1, of isolated from the cyanobacterium species PCC 7601. Like was found to generate a 4 bp direct repeat at the site of insertion upon transposition. The target site specificity was rather strict, and a CTA(A or G) sequence appeared to be preferentially recognized. Transposition of was replicative, since it was accompanied by an increase in the copy number of Several strains belonging to the genus Acetobacter also contained at varying copy numbers from one to more than ten. These observations suggest that is one of the insertion sequences that are responsible for genetic instability leading to deficiencies in various physiological properties in acetic acid bacteria.


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