Five of the genes known to encode the synthesis of poly(glycerol phosphate), the major teichoic acid of 168, are organized in two divergently transcribed operons (a divergon), denoted and To monitor their expression, the 399 bp intergenic region separating the first structural genes of these operons was fused, in both orientations, to a reporter gene, allowing measurement of promoter activity under specific physiological conditions. Under all experimental conditions, and appeared coordinately expressed, the level of being always higher than that of No influence of the chromosomal context was observed. Phosphate limitation was accompanied by reduced gene expression. Following the onset of sporulation, expression of genes diminished rapidly and was essentially abolished by stage II. During germination, the activity of genes was detectable before the rise in culture turbidity associated with spore outgrowth. In contrast to (), the expression of which is DNA-damage-inducible, the induction of SOS functions had no effect on and gene expression. The biological significance of these results is discussed.


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