The homologue), and (oxidoreductase homologue) genes, which are located upstream of the locus, have been identified in the genome. Transcriptional analysis showed that and are transcribed during the exponential growth phase, and is monocistronically transcribed in the late sporulation phase and co-transcribed with and/or during exponential growth. However, SspE was not translated during this period. Northern blot and primer extension analyses indicated that is transcribed by E· during sporulation. No significant difference between wild-type and mutant strains was found in the rate of sporulation or germination, the heat tolerance of spores or the transcription of the locus during sporulation. The transcription of the and loci increased 2.5- and 5.3-fold in a -deficient strain compared to the wild-type strain at (2 h before initiation of sporulation). In addition, transcription corresponding to the loci increased more than twofold with maximum values observed at . These results suggest that YfhP may act as a negative regulator for the transcription of and


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