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J Bacteriol. 1991 Jan;173(2):655-63.

A novel rho promoter::Tn10 mutation suppresses and ftsQ1(Ts) missense mutation in an essential Escherichia coli cell division gene by a mechanism not involving polarity suppression.

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Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, University of Chicago, Illinois 60637.


An extragenic suppressor of the Escherichia coli cell division gene ftsQ1(Ts) was isolated. The suppressor is a Tn10 insertion into the -35 promoter consensus sequence of the rho gene, designated rho promoter::Tn10. The ftsQ1(Ts) mutation was also suppressed by the rho-4 mutant allele. The rho promoter::Tn10 strain does not exhibit rho mutant polarity suppressor phenotypes. In addition, overexpression of the ftsQ1(Ts) mutation does not reverse temperature sensitivity. Furthermore, DNA sequence analysis of the ftsQ1(Ts) allele revealed that the salt-remediable, temperature-sensitive phenotype arose from a single missense mutation. The most striking phenotype of the rho promoter::Tn10 mutant strain is an increase in the level of negative supercoiling. On the basis of these observations, we conclude that the ftsQ1(Ts) mutation may be suppressed by a change in supercoiling.

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