The 168 chromosomal region extending from 184° to 195°, corresponding to prophage SPβ, has been completely sequenced using DNA of the thermoinducible SPβ mutant. This 134416 bp segment comprises 187 putative ORFs which, according to their orientation, were grouped into three clusters. Compared to its host, SPβ is characterized by a lower G+C content, shorter mean ORF length, as well as a different usage of start codons. Nearly 75% of predicted ORFs do not share significant homologies to sequences in available databases. The only highly similar proteins to SPβ-encoded ones are host paralogues. SPβ promoter regions contain SOS box consensus sequences and a repeated motif, designated SPβ repeated element (SPBRE), that is absent from the host genome. Gene encoding the small acid-soluble protein C, that has been previously sequenced and mapped to the vicinity of the SPβ region, was found to be part of the prophage.


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