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Gene. 1997 Dec 19;204(1-2):201-12.

The complete nucleotide sequence and functional organization of Bacillus subtilis bacteriophage SPP1.

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Centro Nacional de Biotecnologia, CSIC, Campus Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, Cantoblanco, Spain.


The complete nucleotide sequence of the B. subtilis bacteriophage SPP1 is described. The genome is 44,007 bp in size and has a base composition of 43.7% dG + dC. Only 32.2 kb are essential for phage amplification under laboratory conditions. Transcription using only the 'heavy strand' is asymmetric. Eighty-one orfs organized in five early and four late operons were identified. Experiments have shown that 25 orfs are essential. Of the remaining orfs, functions could be predicted for the products of five of the orfs on the basis of comparison of the deduced amino acid sequence to known proteins. Intergenic regions include most of the 5 PE and the 4 PL promoters. Transcripts are polycistronic. Transcription from the PE promoters is mediated by host RP, whereas recognition of the PL promoters requires an additional unidentified phage-encoded product. Translation of mRNA transcribed from most of the orfs seems to be initiated independently, each from its own ribosomal binding and initiation site, although a few cases of coupled translation have been reported. The organization of SPP1 genes involved in the replication, DNA packaging and phage assembly proteins resembles the organization of genes of equivalent regions of different E. coli double-stranded DNA phages. Absence of aa sequence similarity between analogous proteins of different phages suggested that the conserved gene organization is representative of a primordial bacteriophage.

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