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Can J Microbiol. 2004 Nov;50(11):967-71.

Nature of the genome of the saprophytic spirochete Spirochaeta aurantia and its ribosomal RNA operons.

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Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Mayo Clinic College of Medicine, 200 First Street SW, Rochester, MN 55905, USA.


Using restriction endonucleases DraI, AseI, and I-CeuI in conjunction with pulsed-field gel electrophoresis, we have shown that Spirochaeta aurantia M1 possesses a circular 3.98-Mb genome. This is the second largest spirochete chromosome yet analyzed. The observation that the latter enzyme cuts in 3 places suggests the presence of 3 copies of the large subunit (23S) rRNA gene (rrl), which was confirmed by Southern hybridizations. The complete sequence of 2 of the ribosomal RNA operons was determined, revealing that their structure resembled that of the typical member of the bacterial superkingdom: rrs (16S; 1561 bp), tRNA, rrl (23S; 2972 bp), and rrf (5S; 110 bp). The S. aurantia rrs-rrl intergenic regions, as with Treponema denticola, contain genes specifying a 73-nt tRNA(Ala) (anticodon TGC) and a 77-nt tRNA(Ile) (anticodon GAT).

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