K-uptake genes of were identified by cloning chromosomal DNA fragments of this organism into plasmids, followed by electroporation and selection for growth at low K concentrations of cells of an strain defective in K uptake. A 4.1 kb DNA fragment contained a cluster of three ORFs on the same DNA strand: the previously identified gene, a gene similar to and a new gene, , whose function is not clear. Products of and were detected in minicells. and from restored growth at low K concentrations of an Δ and an Δ Δ strain, respectively, suggesting that these genes can functionally replace their counterparts. In addition, a plasmid containing permitted growth of an Δ strain at low K concentrations. This effect was mainly due to and was enhanced by from this organism. Measurements of net K-uptake rates indicated that the presence of these genes in renders the Trk systems independent of products from the operon.

Keyword(s): fmv , K+ uptake , trkA , trkH and Vibrio

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