The nucleotide sequence and transcript initiation site of the Synechococcus sp. strain PCC 7002 recA gene have been determined. The deduced amino acid sequence of the RecA protein of this cyanobacterium is 56% identical and 73% similar to the Escherichia coli RecA protein. Northern (RNA) blot analysis indicates that the Synechococcus strain PCC 7002 recA gene is transcribed as a monocistronic transcript 1,200 bases in length. The 5' endpoint of the recA mRNA was mapped by primer extension by using synthetic oligonucleotides of 17 and 27 nucleotides as primers. The nucleotide sequence 5' to the mapped endpoint contained sequence motifs bearing a striking resemblance to the heat shock (σ32-specific) promoters of E. coli but did not contain sequences similar to the E. coli SOS operator recognized by the LexA repressor. An insertion mutation introduced into the recA locus of Synechococcus strain PCC 7002 via homologous recombination resulted in the formation of diploids carrying both mutant and wild-type recA alleles. A variety of growth regimens and transformation procedures failed to produce a recA Synechococcus strain PCC 7002 mutant. However, introduction into these diploid cells of the E. coli recA gene in trans on a biphasic shuttle vector resulted in segregation of the cyanobacterial recA alleles, indicating that the E. coli recA gene was able to provide a function required for growth of recA Synechococcus strain PCC 7002 cells. This interpretation is supported by the observation that the E. coli recA gene is maintained in these cells when antibiotic selection for the shuttle vector is removed.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Molecular Biology