We have delineated three short open reading frames, , ORF-P and within the operon of , in a multi-copy plasmid, causes inhibition of exopolysaccharide synthesis in . In addition, the suppression of exopolysaccharide synthesis due to the multi-copy caused strains to stain with the dye calcofluor, a response that does not occur with wild-type strains of this species. Insertions of a defective gene (lacking its promoter, ribosomal binding site and leader sequence) into and were isolated and the precise locations of the insertions were established. PsiA-PhoA and PsiB-PhoA protein fusions were found to express alkaline phosphatase activity indicating that PsiA and PsiB span the inner membrane or are translocated across it.


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