The gene region of was cloned and sequenced. A tRNA gene, seven ORFs and three DnaA box clusters were identified. The order of the genes and intergene regions found was tRNA--DnaA box cluster 3--DnaA box cluster 2--DnaA box cluster 1- Five ORFs are homologous to known bacterial genes. The tRNA gene and , also called , have already been described in pneumococci and have been reported to be preceded by the competence regulation locus In encodes a serine protease. In plays a role in sporulation and partition. encodes an initiator replication protein, very well conserved in several bacteria and encodes the β subunit of DNA polymerase III in The function of is unknown. The N-terminal part of another reading frame, , revealed high homology with a GTP-binding protein. DnaA box clusters were found upstream and downstream from The presence of two such clusters suggests that the chromosomal origin of is located within this region. The position of , and therefore the putative origin of replication, were localized on the physical map of


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