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Mol Microbiol. 1994 Jun;12(6):985-92.

Properties of Acinetobacter calcoaceticus recA and its contribution to intracellular gene conversion.

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Department of Biology, Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut 06511.


The Acinetobacter calcoaceticus pcaJ and catJ genes, nearly identical in DNA sequence, differ in transcriptional control and are separated by more than 20 kb of chromosomal DNA. The pcaJ3125 mutation is repaired frequently in organisms containing the wild-type catJ gene. This high-frequency repair is eliminated in strains lacking the catJ gene, which suggests that recombination between the homologous catJ and pcaJ genes contributes to the high-frequency repair of the pcaJ3125 mutation. We report here that the high-frequency repair also requires a functional recA gene. The A. calcoaceticus recA gene was cloned in Escherichia coli by complementation of a recA mutation in the host strain. The nucleotide sequence of a 1506 bp DNA fragment containing A. calcoaceticus recA was determined. The amino acid sequences of RecA from E. coli and A. calcoaceticus shared 71% identity. The DNA sequences differed in that a consensus binding site for binding of LexA repressor, represented upstream from recA in E. coli, is not evident in the corresponding region of the A. calcoaceticus DNA sequence. A Tn5 insertion was introduced into the A. calcoaceticus recA gene. Selection for Tn5-encoded kanamycin resistance allowed the inactivated recA gene to be recombined by natural transformation into the A. calcoaceticus chromosome. Strains that had acquired the mutant gene were sensitive to both MMS and u.v. light, were deficient in natural transformation, and failed to carry out catJ-dependent high-frequency repair of the pcaJ3125 mutation.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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