Summary: Two site-specific DNA rearrangements occur during heterocyst differentiation in the cyanobacterium sp. strain PCC 7120: the deletion of an 11 kb element from within the gene and the deletion of a 55 kb element from within the gene. Three and six strains were screened for the presence of the and elements by Southern hybridization with PCC 7120 DNA probes. Eight of the nine strains contained DNA sequences that were similar to the element. Three strains, sp. strain Mac, and sp. strain M131, also showed significant similarity to portions of the 55 kb element. sp. strain CA lacked both the and elements. Southern analysis of vegetative cell and heterocyst DNA from and a Fox revertant of Mac (isolate R2) showed rearrangement of the and elements in heterocysts. We found no RFLPs between M131 and PCC 7120 suggesting that strain M131 is a Het derivative of strain PCC 7120.


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