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Mol Microbiol. 1991 Jun;5(6):1459-68.

Organization of the genes coding for the reaction-centre L and M subunits and B870 antenna polypeptides alpha and beta from the aerobic photosynthetic bacterium Erythrobacter species OCH114.

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Institute of Biology II, Albert-Ludwigs-University Freiburg, Germany.


In the aerobic photosynthetic bacterium Erythrobacter species OCH114 the structural genes coding for the light-harvesting (LH) complex B870 and the reaction-centre (RC) polypeptides (the gene products of the pufB, pufA, pufL and pufM genes) are mapped on a 2.728 kbp EcoRI fragment. Sequencing of this fragment revealed that the deduced amino acid sequences contain 50 (B870 beta), 52 (B850 alpha), 283 (RCL) and 331 (RCM) residues with the corresponding molecular weights of 5592, 5814, 31364, and 37671, respectively. In the corresponding mRNA a 'hairpin' structure (delta G degrees = -26.6 kcal) is predicted to be located immediately downstream of pufA. The RC and LH polypeptides are highly homologous to those of the purple photosynthetic bacteria Rhodobacter capsulatus, Rhodobacter sphaeroides and Rhodopseudomonas viridis. Directly downstream of pufM there is an open reading frame (ORF) of unknown size. Partial sequencing indicates that this ORF is highly homologous to the cytochrome subunit of the photosynthetic reaction centre from R. viridis. In the puf operon no pufQ or pufX genes could be found, but the bchA gene is located upstream of that operon. Plasmid pESS8.9 containing the 2.728 kbp EcoRI fragment reconstituted a photoinactive mutant of Erythrobacter species OCH114. Comparative analysis of the DNA region upstream of the puf operon and of bacteriochlorophyll (Bchl) synthesis indicated that Bchl synthesis and puf gene expression are regulated differently in Erythrobacter and purple bacteria, respectively.

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