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J Mol Biol. 1989 May 20;207(2):393-404.

Regulatory studies on the promoter for a gene governing synthesis and assembly of the spore coat in Bacillus subtilis.

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Department of Cellular and Developmental Biology, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA 02138.


gerE is a regulatory gene of Bacillus subtilis that governs the synthesis and assembly of the spore coat and is required for the production of spores that are lysozyme-resistant and germination-proficient. We report the identification of the promoter for gerE and studies on the regulation of its expression. We show that gerE is switched on at the fourth hour of sporulation (stage-V) and that this expression is restricted to the mother-cell chamber of the sporangium. Dependency studies in which the level of gerE expression was measured in 36 different developmental mutants indicate that efficient expression of gerE requires the products of almost all spo0-IV genes tested as well as certain spoV genes. On the basis of its time of induction, compartmentalization of expression and pattern of dependence on other spo genes, gerE is inferred to be regulated co-ordinately with the previously studied spore coat protein gene cotA. gerE and cotA may be members of a developmental regulon of genes whose products are involved in the assembly of the spore coat.

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