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Nature. 1984 Nov 22-28;312(5992):376-8.

A developmental gene product of Bacillus subtilis homologous to the sigma factor of Escherichia coli.


Sporulation of Bacillus subtilis involves sequential morphological and biochemical changes and is regulated by specific genes (spo genes) estimated to occupy more than 30 loci. A mutation in any one of these genes blocks the sporulation process at the corresponding developmental stage. Despite intensive genetic studies, the nature and function of the spo gene products remain unknown. Vegetative B. subtilis RNA polymerase core enzyme may interact with several sigma factors and discriminate among different classes of promoters. During sporulation, new polypeptides are associated with the core enzyme which may have a central role in modifying its promoter recognition specificity. As a first step to understanding their function in the switch from vegetative to sporulation mode, several early sporulation genes have been cloned and analysed. Here we report the cloning and nucleotide sequence of the spoIIG gene of B. subtilis. This gene encodes a polypeptide with a predicted relative molecular mass of 27,652 which contains a 65-amino acid region highly homologous to an internal part of the Escherichia coli sigma factor.

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