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EMBO J. 1986 Feb;5(2):231-6.

Ice nucleation activity of Pseudomonas fluorescens: mutagenesis, complementation analysis and identification of a gene product.


A DNA fragment of 7.5 kb from Pseudomonas fluorescens MS1650 confers an ice nucleation phenotype when cloned in Escherichia coli. This DNA encodes a protein with an apparent mol. wt of 180 kd, which is found in both inner and outer membrane fractions of transformed E. coli cells. Insertion mutations throughout a 3.9-kb region cause deficiency in ice nucleation, and eliminate the 180-kd protein. Complementation is not observed between any pair of mutations, suggesting that the nucleating phenotype is encoded by a single transcriptional unit. Mutations in most parts of the 3.9-kb region are not completely deficient in phenotype: they still generate ice nuclei at low frequency. One insertion mutation was found to generate pseudowild revertants, which had undergone deletions of the entire insertion and some of the adjacent sequence; these could account for the incomplete deficiency. These deletions displayed depressed nucleation temperatures, but their nucleation frequencies were close to that of the wild-type gene.

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