Logo of jbacterPermissionsJournals.ASM.orgJournalJB ArticleJournal InfoAuthorsReviewers
J Bacteriol. Sep 1994; 176(17): 5320–5329.
PMCID: PMC196717

spo0J is required for normal chromosome segregation as well as the initiation of sporulation in Bacillus subtilis.


The spo0J gene of Bacillus subtilis is required for the initiation of sporulation. We show that the sporulation defect caused by null mutations in spo0J is suppressed by a null mutation in the gene located directly upstream from spo0J, soj (suppressor of spo0J). These results indicate that Soj inhibits the initiation of sporulation and that Spo0J antagonizes that inhibition. Further genetic experiments indicated that Soj ultimately affects sporulation by inhibiting the activation (phosphorylation) of the developmental transcription factor encoded by spo0A. In addition, the temperature-sensitive sporulation phenotype caused by the ftsA279 (spoIIN279) mutation was partly suppressed by the soj null mutation, indicating that FtsA might also affect the activity of Soj. Soj and Spo0J are known to be similar in sequence to a family of proteins involved in plasmid partitioning, including ParA and ParB of prophage P1, SopA and SopB of F, and IncC and KorB of RK2, spo0J was found to be required for normal chromosome partitioning as well as for sporulation. spo0J null mutants produced a significant proportion of anucleate cells during vegetative growth. The dual functions of Spo0J could provide a mechanism for regulating the initiation of sporulation in response to activity of the chromosome partition machinery.

Full text

Full text is available as a scanned copy of the original print version. Get a printable copy (PDF file) of the complete article (2.7M), or click on a page image below to browse page by page. Links to PubMed are also available for Selected References.

Images in this article

Click on the image to see a larger version.

Selected References

These references are in PubMed. This may not be the complete list of references from this article.
  • Akerlund T, Bernander R, Nordström K. Cell division in Escherichia coli minB mutants. Mol Microbiol. 1992 Aug;6(15):2073–2083. [PubMed]
  • Antoniewski C, Savelli B, Stragier P. The spoIIJ gene, which regulates early developmental steps in Bacillus subtilis, belongs to a class of environmentally responsive genes. J Bacteriol. 1990 Jan;172(1):86–93. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Baldus JM, Green BD, Youngman P, Moran CP., Jr Phosphorylation of Bacillus subtilis transcription factor Spo0A stimulates transcription from the spoIIG promoter by enhancing binding to weak 0A boxes. J Bacteriol. 1994 Jan;176(2):296–306. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Benson AK, Haldenwang WG. Regulation of sigma B levels and activity in Bacillus subtilis. J Bacteriol. 1993 Apr;175(8):2347–2356. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Bird TH, Grimsley JK, Hoch JA, Spiegelman GB. Phosphorylation of Spo0A activates its stimulation of in vitro transcription from the Bacillus subtilis spoIIG operon. Mol Microbiol. 1993 Aug;9(4):741–749. [PubMed]
  • Burbulys D, Trach KA, Hoch JA. Initiation of sporulation in B. subtilis is controlled by a multicomponent phosphorelay. Cell. 1991 Feb 8;64(3):545–552. [PubMed]
  • Davis MA, Martin KA, Austin SJ. Biochemical activities of the parA partition protein of the P1 plasmid. Mol Microbiol. 1992 May;6(9):1141–1147. [PubMed]
  • Grossman AD, Lewis T, Levin N, DeVivo R. Suppressors of a spo0A missense mutation and their effects on sporulation in Bacillus subtilis. Biochimie. 1992 Jul-Aug;74(7-8):679–688. [PubMed]
  • Guzmán P, Westpheling J, Youngman P. Characterization of the promoter region of the Bacillus subtilis spoIIE operon. J Bacteriol. 1988 Apr;170(4):1598–1609. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Hayes F, Radnedge L, Davis MA, Austin SJ. The homologous operons for P1 and P7 plasmid partition are autoregulated from dissimilar operator sites. Mol Microbiol. 1994 Jan;11(2):249–260. [PubMed]
  • Hiraga S. Chromosome and plasmid partition in Escherichia coli. Annu Rev Biochem. 1992;61:283–306. [PubMed]
  • Hiraga S, Niki H, Ogura T, Ichinose C, Mori H, Ezaki B, Jaffé A. Chromosome partitioning in Escherichia coli: novel mutants producing anucleate cells. J Bacteriol. 1989 Mar;171(3):1496–1505. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Hoch JA. Regulation of the phosphorelay and the initiation of sporulation in Bacillus subtilis. Annu Rev Microbiol. 1993;47:441–465. [PubMed]
  • Hoch JA, Trach K, Kawamura F, Saito H. Identification of the transcriptional suppressor sof-1 as an alteration in the spo0A protein. J Bacteriol. 1985 Feb;161(2):552–555. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Ireton K, Grossman AD. Coupling between gene expression and DNA synthesis early during development in Bacillus subtilis. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1992 Sep 15;89(18):8808–8812. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Ireton K, Grossman AD. Interactions among mutations that cause altered timing of gene expression during sporulation in Bacillus subtilis. J Bacteriol. 1992 May;174(10):3185–3195. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Ireton K, Grossman AD. A developmental checkpoint couples the initiation of sporulation to DNA replication in Bacillus subtilis. EMBO J. 1994 Apr 1;13(7):1566–1573. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Ireton K, Rudner DZ, Siranosian KJ, Grossman AD. Integration of multiple developmental signals in Bacillus subtilis through the Spo0A transcription factor. Genes Dev. 1993 Feb;7(2):283–294. [PubMed]
  • Jaffé A, D'Ari R, Hiraga S. Minicell-forming mutants of Escherichia coli: production of minicells and anucleate rods. J Bacteriol. 1988 Jul;170(7):3094–3101. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Karmazyn-Campelli C, Fluss L, Leighton T, Stragier P. The spoIIN279(ts) mutation affects the FtsA protein of Bacillus subtilis. Biochimie. 1992 Jul-Aug;74(7-8):689–694. [PubMed]
  • Kawamura F, Saito H. Isolation and mapping of a new suppressor mutation of an early sporulation gene spoOF mutation in Bacillus subtilis. Mol Gen Genet. 1983;192(3):330–334. [PubMed]
  • Koonin EV. A superfamily of ATPases with diverse functions containing either classical or deviant ATP-binding motif. J Mol Biol. 1993 Feb 20;229(4):1165–1174. [PubMed]
  • Kunkel TA, Roberts JD, Zakour RA. Rapid and efficient site-specific mutagenesis without phenotypic selection. Methods Enzymol. 1987;154:367–382. [PubMed]
  • Lee A, Malak M, Louie P, Arjomand J, Ginther C, Leighton T. Intergenic suppression of stage II sporulation defects by a mutation in the major vegetative sigma factor gene (rpoD) of Bacillus subtilis. Biochimie. 1992 Jul-Aug;74(7-8):635–640. [PubMed]
  • Leighton T. New types of RNA polymerase mutations causing temperature-sensitive sporulation in bacillus subtilis. J Biol Chem. 1977 Jan 10;252(1):268–272. [PubMed]
  • Losick R, Stragier P. Crisscross regulation of cell-type-specific gene expression during development in B. subtilis. Nature. 1992 Feb 13;355(6361):601–604. [PubMed]
  • Motallebi-Veshareh M, Rouch DA, Thomas CM. A family of ATPases involved in active partitioning of diverse bacterial plasmids. Mol Microbiol. 1990 Sep;4(9):1455–1463. [PubMed]
  • Mulder E, El'Bouhali M, Pas E, Woldringh CL. The Escherichia coli minB mutation resembles gyrB in defective nucleoid segregation and decreased negative supercoiling of plasmids. Mol Gen Genet. 1990 Mar;221(1):87–93. [PubMed]
  • Mysliwiec TH, Errington J, Vaidya AB, Bramucci MG. The Bacillus subtilis spo0J gene: evidence for involvement in catabolite repression of sporulation. J Bacteriol. 1991 Mar;173(6):1911–1919. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Niki H, Jaffé A, Imamura R, Ogura T, Hiraga S. The new gene mukB codes for a 177 kd protein with coiled-coil domains involved in chromosome partitioning of E. coli. EMBO J. 1991 Jan;10(1):183–193. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Ogasawara N, Yoshikawa H. Genes and their organization in the replication origin region of the bacterial chromosome. Mol Microbiol. 1992 Mar;6(5):629–634. [PubMed]
  • Ohlsen KL, Grimsley JK, Hoch JA. Deactivation of the sporulation transcription factor Spo0A by the Spo0E protein phosphatase. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1994 Mar 1;91(5):1756–1760. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Perego M, Cole SP, Burbulys D, Trach K, Hoch JA. Characterization of the gene for a protein kinase which phosphorylates the sporulation-regulatory proteins Spo0A and Spo0F of Bacillus subtilis. J Bacteriol. 1989 Nov;171(11):6187–6196. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Perego M, Hoch JA. Isolation and sequence of the spo0E gene: its role in initiation of sporulation in Bacillus subtilis. Mol Microbiol. 1987 Jul;1(1):125–132. [PubMed]
  • Perego M, Hoch JA. Negative regulation of Bacillus subtilis sporulation by the spo0E gene product. J Bacteriol. 1991 Apr;173(8):2514–2520. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Perego M, Spiegelman GB, Hoch JA. Structure of the gene for the transition state regulator, abrB: regulator synthesis is controlled by the spo0A sporulation gene in Bacillus subtilis. Mol Microbiol. 1988 Nov;2(6):689–699. [PubMed]
  • Piggot PJ, Coote JG. Genetic aspects of bacterial endospore formation. Bacteriol Rev. 1976 Dec;40(4):908–962. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Pla J, Dopazo A, Vicente M. The native form of FtsA, a septal protein of Escherichia coli, is located in the cytoplasmic membrane. J Bacteriol. 1990 Sep;172(9):5097–5102. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Sandman K, Losick R, Youngman P. Genetic analysis of Bacillus subtilis spo mutations generated by Tn917-mediated insertional mutagenesis. Genetics. 1987 Dec;117(4):603–617. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Satola S, Kirchman PA, Moran CP., Jr Spo0A binds to a promoter used by sigma A RNA polymerase during sporulation in Bacillus subtilis. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1991 May 15;88(10):4533–4537. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Satola SW, Baldus JM, Moran CP., Jr Binding of Spo0A stimulates spoIIG promoter activity in Bacillus subtilis. J Bacteriol. 1992 Mar;174(5):1448–1453. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Schaeffer P, Millet J, Aubert JP. Catabolic repression of bacterial sporulation. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1965 Sep;54(3):704–711. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Setlow B, Magill N, Febbroriello P, Nakhimovsky L, Koppel DE, Setlow P. Condensation of the forespore nucleoid early in sporulation of Bacillus species. J Bacteriol. 1991 Oct;173(19):6270–6278. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Shoji K, Hiratsuka S, Kawamura F, Kobayashi Y. New suppressor mutation sur0B of spo0B and spo0F mutations in Bacillus subtilis. J Gen Microbiol. 1988 Dec;134(12):3249–3257. [PubMed]
  • Spiegelman G, Van Hoy B, Perego M, Day J, Trach K, Hoch JA. Structural alterations in the Bacillus subtilis Spo0A regulatory protein which suppress mutations at several spo0 loci. J Bacteriol. 1990 Sep;172(9):5011–5019. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Trach K, Burbulys D, Strauch M, Wu JJ, Dhillon N, Jonas R, Hanstein C, Kallio P, Perego M, Bird T, et al. Control of the initiation of sporulation in Bacillus subtilis by a phosphorelay. Res Microbiol. 1991 Sep-Oct;142(7-8):815–823. [PubMed]
  • Trach KA, Hoch JA. Multisensory activation of the phosphorelay initiating sporulation in Bacillus subtilis: identification and sequence of the protein kinase of the alternate pathway. Mol Microbiol. 1993 Apr;8(1):69–79. [PubMed]
  • Wu JJ, Howard MG, Piggot PJ. Regulation of transcription of the Bacillus subtilis spoIIA locus. J Bacteriol. 1989 Feb;171(2):692–698. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • York K, Kenney TJ, Satola S, Moran CP, Jr, Poth H, Youngman P. Spo0A controls the sigma A-dependent activation of Bacillus subtilis sporulation-specific transcription unit spoIIE. J Bacteriol. 1992 Apr;174(8):2648–2658. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Zuber P, Losick R. Use of a lacZ fusion to study the role of the spoO genes of Bacillus subtilis in developmental regulation. Cell. 1983 Nov;35(1):275–283. [PubMed]

Articles from Journal of Bacteriology are provided here courtesy of American Society for Microbiology (ASM)


Related citations in PubMed

See reviews...See all...

Cited by other articles in PMC

See all...


Recent Activity

Your browsing activity is empty.

Activity recording is turned off.

Turn recording back on

See more...