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Gene. 1997 Jan 31;185(1):35-41.

Isolation and characterization of the carotenoid biosynthesis genes of Flavobacterium sp. strain R1534.

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  • 1F. Hoffmann-La Roche Ltd., Vitamins and Fine Chemicals Division, Basel, Switzerland.


The Gram-negative bacterium Flavobacterium sp. strain R1534 is a natural producer of zeaxanthin. A 14 kb genomic DNA fragment of this organism has been cloned and a 5.1 kb piece containing the carotenoid biosynthesis genes sequenced. The carotenoid biosynthesis cluster consists of five genes arranged in at least two operons. The five genes are necessary and sufficient for the synthesis of zeaxanthin. The encoded proteins have significant homology to the crtE, crtB, crtY, crtI and crtZ gene products of other carotenogenic organisms. Biochemical assignment of the individual gene products was done by HPLC analysis of the carotenoid accumulation in Escherichia coli host strains transformed with plasmids carrying deletions of the Flavobacterium sp. strain R1534 carotenoid biosynthesis cluster.

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