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Microbiology. 1996 Jul;142 ( Pt 7):1715-23.

Influence of salt on the transcription of the gas-vesicle genes of Haloferax mediterranei and identification of the endogenous transcriptional activator gene.

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Institut für Mikrobiologie, TH Darmstadt, Germany.


The transcription of the 14 gvp genes of the gas-vesicle-encoding mc-vac region was investigated, using RNA from 25% and 15% (w/v) salt cultures of the moderately halophilic archaeon Haloferax mediterranei. Transcription occurred only from two promoters, located in front of the mc-gvpA and mc-gvpD genes. In both cultures transcripts spanning the entire mc-gvpDEFGHIJKLM transcription unit were formed only during the exponential growth phase. Amounts of these transcripts were larger in the 25% salt culture, in which the 2.0 kb mc-gvpD transcripts were also synthesized during the stationary phase. The levels of the mc-gvpD transcripts and of the 324 nt mc-gvpA mRNA increased in parallel during the stationary phase of the 25% salt culture. Only under these conditions were mRNAs spanning the entire mc-gvpACNO transcription unit observed, and gas-vesicles were formed. Investigation of the influence of the mc-gvpDE genes on both mc-vac promoters in transformants revealed that by themselves they were nearly inactive. The addition of mc-gvpE, however, resulted in a high level of constitutively produced mc-gvpA and mc-gvpD mRNA, indicating a transcriptional activator function for the mc-gvpE product.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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