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Mol Gen Genet. 1996 Apr 10;250(6):734-41.

Analysis of cryIAa expression in sigE and sigK mutants of Bacillus thuringiensis.

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Unité de Biochimie Microbienne, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique URA 1300, Institut Pasteur, Paris, France.


The sigE and sigK genes, encoding the sporulation-specific sigma factors sigma 35 and sigma 28 of Bacillus thuringiensis, were each disrupted by inserting a gene conferring resistance to kanamycin into their coding sequences. The B. thuringiensis SigE- and sigK- mutant strains were blocked at different sporulation stages and were unable to sporulate. The SigE-strain was blocked at stage II of sporulation, whereas the SigK- strain was blocked at stage IV. The expression of a cryIAa'-'lacZ transcriptional fusion was analysed in these genetic backgrounds and it was found that both sigma factors are involved in the in vivo transcription of this gene. However, the SigK- strain harbouring the cryIAa gene produced amounts of toxin similar to those produced by the B. thuringiensis Spo+ strain. The toxins accumulated in the mother cell compartment to form a crystal inclusion which remained encapsulated within the cell wall. Thus, transcription from the sigma E-dependent promoter alone (Bt I promoter) is sufficient to support high levels of toxin production in B. thuringiensis.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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