Spontaneous and reversible high-frequency frameshifts originating a phase transition in the carotenoid biosynthesis pathway of the phototrophic bacterium Rhodobacter sphaeroides 2.4.1

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Abstract

The synthesis of carotenoids in strain 2.4.1 of the phototrophic bacterium Rhodobacter sphaeroides is spontaneously turned on and off at a high frequency (10-5 per cell per generation) giving rise alternatively to red (wild type) and green (mutant) clones. The crtD gene is not functional in green mutants as a consequence of the spontaneous addition of a guanosine in a stretch of seven guanosines located in the 5′-terminal coding region of this gene originating a frameshift. All spontaneous wild-type revertants isolated from green mutants had recovered the crtD gene function by loss of one of these reiterated guanosines. The transition Crt+ → Crt- → Crt+, is strain-dependent, since Crt+ clones were not detected in ethyl methane sulphonate (EMS)-induced CrtD- mutants of two other strains of R. sphaeroides (WS22 and RS630) which harbour a recombinant plasmid containing the crtD gene from a spontaneous CrtD- mutant of strain 2.4.1 of R. sphaeroides. © 1992 Springer-Verlag.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)74-80
JournalMGG Molecular & General Genetics
Volume232
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 1992

Keywords

  • Carotenoid biosynthesis
  • Phase transition
  • Phototrophic bacterium
  • Rhodobacter sphaeroides
  • Spontaneous frameshifts

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