A sequence strategy which combines a low redundancy shotgun approach and directed sequencing has been elaborated. Essentially, the sequences, as well as the size of the fragments utilized for a low coverage shotgun approach, were exploited for the construction of a physical map of the region to be sequenced. The latter considerably simplified the subsequent directed sequencing steps. We report the physical mapping of a 115 kb segment which covers nearly 100 kb of the region of the chromosome and contains previously sequenced genes and Sequencing and analysis of a 21305 bp segment, which includes the locus, revealed 21 ORFs, apparently belonging to at least seven transcription units. This segment has a G+C content greater than 47%, compared to 43% characteristic of the flanking regions, and mainly consists of genes whose products seem to be involved in the synthesis of an exopolysaccharide. These observations leave open the possibility that the analysed fragment has been acquired through horizontal transfer.


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