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J Bacteriol. 1980 Aug;143(2):569-81.

Defective and plaque-forming lambda transducing bacteriophage carrying penicillin-binding protein-cell shape genes: genetic and physical mapping and identification of gene products from the lip-dacA-rodA-pbpA-leuS region of the Escherichia coli chromosome.


A series of defective lambda transducing phage carrying genes from the lip-leuS region of the Escherichia coli chromosome (min 14 on the current linkage map) has been isolated. The phage defined the gene order as lac---lip-dacA-rodA-pbpA-leuS---gal. These included the structural genes for penicillin-binding protein 2 (pbpA) and penicillin-binding protein 5 (dacA) as well as a previously unidentified cell shape gene that we have called rodA. rodA mutants were spherical and very similar to pbpA mutants but were distinguishable from them in that they had no defects in the activity of penicillin-binding protein 2. The separation into two groups of spherical mutants with mutations that mapped close to lip was confirmed by complementation analysis. The genes dacA, rodA, and pbpA lie within a 12-kilobase region, and represent a cluster of genes involved in cell shape determination and peptidoglycan synthesis. A restriction map of the lip-leuS region was established, and restriction fragments were cloned from defective transducing phage into appropriate lambda vectors to generate plaque-forming phage that carried genes from this region. Analysis of the proteins synthesized from lambda transducing phage in ultraviolet light-irradiated cells of E. coli resulted in the identification of the leuS, pbpA, dacA, and lip gene products, but the product of the rodA gene was not identified. The nine proteins that were synthesized from the lip-leuS region accounted for 57% of its coding capacity. Phage derivatives were constructed that allowed about 50-fold amplification of the levels of penicillin-binding proteins 2 and 5 in the cytoplasmic membrane.

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