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Curr Microbiol. 1997 Aug;35(2):84-9.

The (F1F0) ATP synthase of Buchnera aphidicola (endosymbiont of aphids): genetic analysis of the putative ATP operon.

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Microbiology Section, University of California, Davis, CA 95616-8665, USA.


Buchnera aphidicola is an intracellular, non-cultivable prokaryotic symbiont of the aphid Schizaphis graminum. A 6.8-kilobase fragment from B. aphidicola was cloned and sequenced and was found to contain genes encoding for proteins of the ATP synthase. The order of the genes, atpBEFHAGDC, is identical to that found inEscherichia coli and many other prokaryotes. This genetic organization is different from that observed in organelles such as mitochondria and chloroplasts, in which the genes are partitioned between the organellar and nuclear genomes. One difference between B. aphidicola and E. coli was the absence of atpI, a gene of unknown function, which in E. coli precedes atpB. As is the case of many other prokaryotes, atpBEFHAGDC appears to constitute a single transcription unit. The detection in B. aphidicola of the genes encoding the ATP synthase as well as past observations indicating that this organism is capable of respiration are consistent with the utilization byB. aphidicola of a proton gradient for the generation of ATP.

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