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J Bacteriol. 2004 Sep;186(17):5834-41.

Hypercyst mutants in Rhodospirillum centenum identify regulatory loci involved in cyst cell differentiation.

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Department of Biology, Indiana University, Myers Hall, 915 E. Third St., Bloomington, IN 47405, USA.


Rhodospirillum centenum is a purple photosynthetic bacterium that forms resting cyst cells when starved for nutrients. In this study, we demonstrate that chalcone synthase gene (chsA) expression is developmentally regulated, with expression of chsA increasing up to 86-fold upon induction of the cyst developmental cycle. Screening for mini-Tn5-induced mutants that exhibit elevated chsA::lacZ expression has led to the isolation of a set of R. centenum mutants that display increased chsA gene expression concomitant with constitutive induction of the cyst developmental cycle. These "hypercyst" mutants have lost the ability to regulate cyst cell formation in response to nutrient availability. Sequence analysis indicates that the mini-Tn5-disrupted genes code for a variety of factors, including metabolic enzymes and a large set of potential regulatory factors, including four gene products with homology to histidine sensor kinases and three with homology to response regulators. Several of the disrupted genes also have sequence similarity to che-like signal transduction components.

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