Genome structure of Halobacterium halobium: Plasmid dynamics in gas vacuole deficient mutants

F. Pfeifer, U. Blaseio, Mary C Horne

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Halobacterium halobium contains two gas vacuole protein genes that are located in plasmid pHH1 (p-vac) and in the chromosomal DNA (c-vac). The mutation frequency for these genes is different: the constitutively expressed p-vac gene is mutated with a frequency of 10-2, while the chromosomal gene expressed in the stationary phase of growth is mutated with a frequency of 10-5. The difference in the mutation susceptibility is due to the dynamics of plasmid pHH1. p-vac gene mutations are caused (i) by the integration of an insertion element or (ii) by a deletion event encompassing the p-vac gene region. In contrast, c-vac mutants analyzed to date incurred neither insertion elements nor deletions. Deletion events within pHH1 occur at high frequencies during the development of a H. halobium culture. The investigation of the fusion regions resulting from deletion events indicates that insertion elements are involved. The analysis of pHH1 deletion variants led to a 4 kilobase pair DNA region containing the origin of replication of the pHH1 plasmid.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)96-100
Number of pages5
JournalCanadian Journal of Microbiology
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1989
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Biochemistry
  • Biotechnology
  • Immunology
  • Microbiology


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