A DNA fragment containing the flaD locus of Bacillus subtilis, which had been cloned into plasmid pAC3, was subcloned into an M13 phage and sequenced. The sequence contained five open reading frames (ORFs), of which ORF2 was the flaD gene. Unexpectedly, the sequence of the flaD locus was identical to that of sin [sporulation inhibition gene; Gaur, N.K., Dubnau, E. and Smith, I. (1986). Journal of Bacteriology 168, 860-869]. A B. licheniformis homologue (flaL) of the B. subtilis flaD locus was cloned into pUC19 and identified by colony hybridization. The B. licheniformis DNA was subcloned and sequenced. Two ORFs (ORF1, or L-ORF1; and ORF2, or flaL) were detected, encoding 58 and 111 amino acid residues, respectively. These are almost identical in length to ORF1 (D-ORF1; 57 amino acids) and flaD (111 amino acids) on the fragment of B. subtilis DNA. The overall interspecies differences between the nucleotide sequences of D-ORF1 and L-ORF1, and those of flaD and flaL, were 42% and 11%, respectively, and the differences in the predicted amino acid sequences were 50% and 7%, respectively. The regions 3' of the ORFs (flaL and flaD) in both species resemble rho-independent terminators of transcription. The characteristics of the amino acid sequences are also discussed.
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