Identification and sequence of a gene required for a developmentally regulated DNA excision in anabaena

Peter J. Lammers, James W. Golden, Robert Haselkorn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

47 Scopus citations

Abstract

Vegetative cells of the cyanobacterium Anabaena contain an 11 kb DNA element within the coding region of the nifD gene. This element is excised by site-specific recombination between directly repeated 11 bp sequences at each of its ends during differentiation of nitrogen-fixing cells called heterocysts. Site-specific recombination, leading to the same rejoined nifD gene, was observed during propagation in E. coli of a fragment containing the 11 kb element and flanking sequences. An assay for excision of the element in E. coli was developed, based on mini-Mu-lac transposition into the element. Since the 11 kb element lacks an origin of replication, its excision results in loss of lac and conversion of blue colony-forming cells to white on X-gal plates. Insertion and deletion mutagenesis identified a region of the element needed for excision. Mutations in this region could be complemented by a 6 kb fragment containing an open reading frame that runs counter to those of the nif genes, beginning 240 bp from the recombination site.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)905-911
Number of pages7
JournalCell
Volume44
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 28 1986

    Fingerprint

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)

Cite this