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J Bacteriol. May 1997; 179(10): 3270–3276.
PMCID: PMC179106

The actinomycete Thermobispora bispora contains two distinct types of transcriptionally active 16S rRNA genes.


Here we present the first description of the presence of two distinct types of 16S rRNA genes in the genome of a (eu)bacterium, Thermobispora bispora. We cloned and determined the nucleotide sequences of all four rRNA operons of T. bispora. Sequence comparisons revealed that the genome of T. bispora contains two distinct types of 16S rRNA genes, each type consisting of two identical or nearly identical copies, and three identical copies of the 23S RNA gene. The nucleotide sequences of the two types of 16S rRNA genes differ at 98 nucleotide positions (6.4% of total nucleotides) together with six regions of deletion-insertions. None of the base substitutions or insertion-deletions corresponds to any of the approximately 600 evolutionarily invariable or rarely variable nucleotides, indicating that both genes are functional. Both types of 16S rRNA genes are transcribed and processed as determined by Northern (RNA) hybridization and reverse transcriptase-mediated PCR.

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