Sequence analysis of the cloned 16S rRNA genes of DSM 7308 revealed the presence of 15 different sequences in variable region I ( positions 73-97) of the 16S rDNA. The majority of the cloned genes contained intervening sequences (IVSs), which varied in length from 120-131 nt, and were present in the DNA obtained from single colonies of The absence of IVSs in the mature rRNA was demonstrated by Northern hybridization and sequence analysis of the 16S rRNA reverse transcriptase (RT)-PCR product. This finding was supported by the failure of oligonucleotide probes specific for certain IVSs to hybridize to the RT-PCR product obtained from Alterations in culture conditions (temperature, pH, salt) or culture age did not lead to expression of RNA containing IVSs, as indicated by the size of RT-PCR products. Hybridization of the restriction-enzyme-digested genomic DNA of with probes derived from the IVSs demonstrated that the 16S rRNA genes containing different IVSs are located at different sites on the chromosome.


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