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FEBS Lett. 1994 Mar 21;341(2-3):251-5.

A carotenogenic gene cluster exists on a large plasmid in Thermus thermophilus.

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Institute of Applied Biochemistry, University of Tsukuba, Ibaraki, Japan.


In Thermus thermophilus HB27, the crtB gene encoding phytoene synthase was found to exist on the large plasmid, pTT27. One of the carotenoid under-producing mutants, Crt31, carried a derivative of pTT27 (pTT27') in which deletion and inversion were observed near the crtB gene. T. thermophilus HB8 also contained a large plasmid which showed homology to pTT27 and the crtB gene. These results suggested that genes for carotenoid biosynthesis occurred as a cluster on a large plasmid in Thermus thermophilus. This is the first report to show directly that carotenogenesis is plasmid-encoded in microorganisms.

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