Cloning and characterization of srfB, a regulatory gene involved in surfactin production and competence in Bacillus subtilis

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A Tn917 insertion mutation srfB impairs the production of the lipopeptide antibiotic surfactin in Bacillus subtilis. srfB is located between aroG and ald in the B. subtilis genome, as determined by phage PBS1 transduction mapping, and is not linked to the previously described surfactin loci sfp or srfA. A srfB mutant was found to be also deficient in the establishment of competence. SPβ phage-mediated complementation analysis showed that both competence and surfactin production were restored in the srfB mutant by a single DNA fragment of 1.5 kilobase pairs. The sequence of the complementing DNA revealed that the srfB gene is comA, an early competence gene which codes for a product similar to that of the activator class of bacterial two-component regulatory systems. The srfB mutation impaired the expression of a srfA-lacZ fusion, suggesting that surfactin production is positively regulated at the transcriptional level by the srfB (comA) gene product.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5347-5353
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Bacteriology
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 1989
Externally publishedYes


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology
  • Immunology

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