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Microbiology. 1999 Sep;145 ( Pt 9):2229-2243. doi: 10.1099/00221287-145-9-2229.

Association of early sporulation genes with suggested developmental decision points in Streptomyces coelicolor A3(2).

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John Innes Centre, Norwich Research Park, Colney, Norwich NR4 7UH, UK1.


Cytological analysis of a series of Streptomyces coelicolor A3(2) mutants with disruptions of early sporulation (whi, for white aerial mycelium) genes in an isogenic background has provided new information about the role of whiH, and confirmed and extended previous knowledge about whiG, whiA and whiB. The characteristic straight aerial hyphae of whiG mutants contained normally spaced vegetative-like septa, while mutants in whiA or whiB had abnormally long and coiled aerial hyphae almost devoid of septation. whiG, whiA and whiB were all absolutely required for sporulation septation, and for all visible signs of nucleoid condensation and partitioning and other changes associated with later stages of sporulation. On the other hand, whiH appeared to enhance low basal levels of these processes. Thus, whiH mutant aerial hyphae were divided into loosely coiled fragments of variable sizes by what appeared to be a few sporulation septa. These fragments showed some spore-like characteristics and contained condensed and aberrantly partitioned nucleoids. whiG, whiA and whiB were epistatic to whiH on the criterion that they prevented such fragments from forming in double mutants. These spore-like features and the synthesis of clearly detectable levels of the whiE-directed grey spore pigment were not due to any residual activity of previously studied whiH alleles since they were retained by a constructed whiH null mutant. A model is presented that explains the mutant phenotypes by proposing two early developmental decision points involved in commitment to sporulation septation, one requiring whiG and the other requiring whiA and whiB.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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