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Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 1986 May 14;136(3):1136-41.

Mycobacteria possess a surprisingly small number of ribosomal RNA genes in relation to the size of their genome.


DNAs from Mycobacterium tuberculosis, M. intracellulare, M. phlei and M. smegmatis were digested by restriction enzymes and hybridized with three probes consisting of the 5' (16S rRNA), the middle (16S and 23S rRNA), and the 3' (23S and 5S rRNA) portions of the Escherichia coli rrnB operon. The resulting hybridization patterns indicate that slow-growing Mycobacteria species (i.e., M. tuberculosis and M. intracellulare), with genome size 3.13 - 4.29 X 10(9) daltons, appear to possess only one rRNA operon, whereas fast-growing species (i.e., M. phlei and M. smegmatis), with genome size 4.30 - 5.20 X 10(9) daltons, appear to possess two rRNA operons.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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