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Mol Gen Genet. 1997 Jan 27;253(4):499-506.

Organisation of the bph gene cluster of transposon Tn4371, encoding enzymes for the degradation of biphenyl and 4-chlorobiphenyl compounds.

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Laboratoire de Microbiologie, Université Joseph Fourier, Grenoble, France.


Tn4371 is a 55 kb transposon which encodes enzymes for the degradation of biphenyl and 4-chlorobiphenyl compounds into benzoate and 4-chlorobenzoate derivatives. We constructed a cosmid library of Tn4371 DNA. The bph genes involved in biphenyl/4-chlorobiphenyl degradation were found to be clustered in the middle of the transposon. Sequencing revealed an organisation of the bph genes similar to that previously found in Pseudomonas sp. KKS102, i.e. the bphEGF genes are located upstream of bphA1A2A3 and bphA4 is separated from bphA1A2A3 by bphBCD. Consensus sequences for sigma54-associated RNA polymerase were found upstream of bphA1 and bphEGF. Plasmid RP4::Tn4371 was transferred into a mutant of Alcaligenes eutrophus H16 lacking sigma54. In contrast to wild-type H16 exconjugants, the sigma54 mutant exconjugants could not grow on biphenyl, indicating the dependence of Tn4371 bph gene expression on sigma54. The Tn4371-encoded bph pathway was activated when biphenyl and various biphenyl-like compounds were present in the growth medium. Preliminary observations indicate the presence of a region outside the catabolic genes downstream of bphA4 which is involved in mediating at least the basal expression of BphC.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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