Transcription of , and , three clustered genes on the chromosome, is simultaneously induced by sucrose. Northern blotting analyses with specific probes showed three distinct mRNAs: a monocistronic 17 kb mRNA, a bicistronic 33 kb mRNA and a tricistronic 49 kb mRNA. These results indicate that , encoding levansucrase, is the proximal gene of a sucrose-inducible operon that includes the two other genes. The yield of the full-length transcript is lower than that of the bicistronic transcript, whose yield is itself lower than that of the monocistronic transcript. This suggested that the 3′ terminal parts of and genes worked as internal terminator structures. The protein encoded by , which remains anchored to the membrane, displays an endolevanase activity, which, coupled with exolevanase activity of SacB, leads to a complete degradation of levan, a branched fructosyl polymer. It is proposed to rename as


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