Two genes encoding gas vacuole proteins in Halobacterium halobium

Mary C Horne, Christoph Englert, Felicitas Pfeifer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


The archaebacterium Halobacterium halobium contains two related gas vacuole protein-encoding genes (vac). One of these genes encodes a protein of 76 amino acids and resides on the major plasmid. The second gene is located on the chromosome in a (G+C)-rich DNA fraction and encodes a slightly larger but highly homologous protein consisting of 79 amino acids. The plasmid encoded vac gene is transcribed constitutively throughout the growth cycle while the chromosomal vac gene is expressed during the stationary phase of growth. Comparison of the nucleotide sequences of the two genes indicates differences in the putative promoter regions as well as 35 single base-pair exchanges within the coding regions of the two genes. The majority of the nucleotide exchanges in the coding region occur in the third position of a codon triplet generating the codon synonym. The only differences between the two encoded proteins are the exchange of 2 amino acids (positions 8 and 29) and a deletion of 3 amino acids near the carboxy-terminus of the plasmid encoded vac protein. The genomic DNAs from other halobacterial isolates (Halobacterium sp. SB3, GN101 and YC819-9) were found to contain only a chromosomal vac gene copy. There is a high conservation of the chromosomal vac gene and the genomic region surrounding it among the halobacterial strains investigated.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)459-464
Number of pages6
JournalMGG Molecular & General Genetics
Issue number2-3
StatePublished - Aug 1988
Externally publishedYes


  • Archaebacteria
  • Gene duplication
  • Gene expression
  • Mutation frequency
  • Plasmid variation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics


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