Summary: is known to synthesize carotenoids and gives an orange-coloured phenotype. These carotenoids play a role in the protection of the cells from the damage caused by near-UV irradiation in nature. The genes encoding these carotenoids in Eho13 are clustered in a 7 kb DNA fragment. The complete sequence of this fragment has been determined. DNA sequence analysis revealed that the entire sequence contains at least five genes, which are transcribed in the same direction. These five genes are organized in the order crtE-crtX-crtY-crtI-crtB. A gene fusion study showed that two different regions in this 7 kb gene cluster contain promoter activity. Primer-extension analysis identified two transcription start sites, located 147 bp upstream from the first gene of the cluster, crtE, and within the last gene of the cluster, crtB. An RNA-PCR study suggested that the five crt genes were organized in an operon and were transcribed from the promoter upstream from crtE.


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