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J Mol Biol. 1990 Apr 20;212(4):579-98.

Genomic organization and physical mapping of the transfer RNA genes in Escherichia coli K12.

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Department of Biophysics, Faculty of Science, Kyoto University, Japan.


By using a set of 476 ordered DNA clones (in lambda phage vector) that covers the entire chromosome of Escherichia coli K12, we have made an exhaustive survey of tRNA genes in the E. coli genome. Ultraviolet-irradiated bacteria were separately infected with each of the 476 clones and the RNA molecules produced upon infection were labeled with 32P. The labeled tRNAs were separated by gel electrophoresis and then characterized by fingerprinting analysis. Fifty-nine of the 476 clones produced tRNAs, including adjacent overlapping ones that share the same tRNA genes. The products of all the previously mapped tRNA genes (about 60, to date) were detected according to their expected positions, and 19 more tRNA genes were newly elucidated. These new tRNA genes were identified by sequencing the DNA from relevant regions of the clones; the DNA sequences were scanned for the stretches that could be folded into the familiar cloverleaf structure and the transcription units were deduced by predicting the promoters and terminators. The total complement of the tRNA genes in E. coli K12 was 78 for 45 tRNA (or 41 anticodon) species, distributed in 40 different transcription units throughout the chromosome. In addition, a gene for selenocysteine tRNA was detected by hybridization and mapped to a specific DNA segment. A comprehensive tRNA gene map of E. coli was constructed, including the selenocysteine tRNA gene. All the tRNA genes encode the 3' CCA, and in several cases the terminal 19 nucleotides (including the 3' CCA) of a tRNA gene is repeated several times. Finally, in the present study the sites for a long inversion (approx. 800 x 10(3) base-pairs, around the oriC region) in Kohara's library was determined to be within the 23 S-5 S regions in rrnD and rrnE, revealing the exchange of combinations of spacer and distal tRNA genes between these two ribosomal RNA operons.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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