1887

Abstract

The pattern of expression of the genes involved in the utilization of aryl β-glucosides such as arbutin and salicin is different in the genus compared to . The results presented here indicate that the homologue of the cryptic operon of is conserved in and is the primary system involved in β-glucoside utilization in the organism. The organization of the genes in is similar to that of ; however there are three major differences in terms of their pattern of expression. (i) The gene, encoding phospho-β-glucosidase B, is insertionally inactivated in . As a result, mutational activation of the silent promoter confers an Arbutin-positive (Arb) phenotype to the cells in a single step; however, acquiring a Salicin-positive (Sal) phenotype requires the reversion or suppression of the mutation in addition. (ii) Unlike in , a majority of the activating mutations (conferring the Arb phenotype) map within the unlinked locus, whereas activation of the operon under the same conditions is predominantly due to insertions within the locus. (iii) Although the promoter is silent in the wild-type strain of (as in the case of , transcriptional and functional analyses indicated a higher basal level of transcription of the downstream genes. This was correlated with a 1 bp deletion within the putative Rho-independent terminator present in the leader sequence preceding the homologue of the gene. The possible evolutionary implications of these differences for the maintenance of the genes in the cryptic state are discussed.

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2000-08-01
2020-09-24
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