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J Bacteriol. Jul 1992; 174(14): 4647–4656.
PMCID: PMC206260

Regulation of transcription of the cell division gene ftsA during sporulation of Bacillus subtilis.

Abstract

Three distinct 5' ends of ftsA mRNA were identified by S1 mapping and by primer extension analysis. These are thought to represent three transcription start sites. The transcripts from the downstream and upstream sites were detected throughout growth. The transcript from the middle site was not detected during exponential growth but was detected within 30 min of the start of sporulation, when it was the predominant transcript. Insertion of a cat cassette in the middle promoter, ftsAp2 (p2), did not affect vegetative growth but prevented postexponential symmetrical division and spore formation. Transcription from p2 was dependent on RNA polymerase containing sigma H, and promoter p2 resembled the consensus sigma H promoter. Transcription from p2 did not require expression of the spo0A, spo0B, spo0E, spo0F, or spo0K loci. Northern (RNA) blot analysis indicated that ftsA is cotranscribed with the adjacent ftsZ gene. Multiple promoters provide a mechanism by which essential vegetative genes can be subjected to sporulation control independent of control during vegetative growth. In the case of ftsA,Z, the promoters provide a mechanism to permit septum formation in conditions of nutrient depletion that might be expected to shut down the vegetative division machinery.

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Selected References

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