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Gene. 1993 Aug 16;130(1):107-16.

Hybridization and DNA sequence analyses suggest an early evolutionary divergence of related biosynthetic gene sets encoding polyketide antibiotics and spore pigments in Streptomyces spp.

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Departamento de Biología Funcional, Universidad de Oviedo, Spain.


The whiE gene cluster of Streptomyces coelicolor, which is related to gene sets encoding the biosynthesis of polycyclic aromatic polyketide antibiotics, determines a spore pigment. Southern blotting using probes from three different parts of the whiE cluster revealed related gene sets in about half of a collection of diverse Streptomyces strains. A 5.2-kb segment of one such cluster, sch, previously shown to determine spore pigmentation in Streptomyces halstedii, was sequenced. Seven open reading frames (ORFs), two of them incomplete, were found. Six of the ORFs resemble the known part of the whiE cluster closely. The derived gene products include a ketosynthase (= condensing enzyme) pair, acyl carrier protein and cyclase, as well as two of unidentified function. The seventh ORF diverges from the main cluster and encodes a protein that resembles a dichlorophenol hydroxylase. Comparison with sequences of related gene sets for the biosynthesis of antibiotics suggests that gene clusters destined to specify pigment production diverged from those destined to specify antibiotics early in the evolution of the Streptomyces genus.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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