The positions of the sigma-factor genes, whiG and sigF, in the hierarchy controlling the development of spore chains in the aerial hyphae of Streptomyces coelicolor A3(2)

Gabriella H. Kelemen, Gary L. Brown, Ján Kormanec, Laura Potúčková, Keith F. Chater, Mark J. Buttner

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whiG and sigF encode RNA polymerase sigma factors required for sporulation in the aerial hyphae of Streptomyces coelicolor. Their expression was analysed during colony development in wild-type and sporulation-defective whi mutant strains. Each gene was transcribed from a single promoter. Unexpectedly, whiG mRNA was present at all time points, including those taken prior to aerial mycelium formation; this suggests that whig may be regulated post-transcription-ally. Transcription of whig did not depend upon any of the six known 'early' whi genes required for sporulation septum formation (whiA, B, G, H, I and J), placing it at the top of the hierarchy of whi loci. sigF expression appeared to be regulated at the level of transcription; sigF transcripts were detected transiently when sporulation septa were observed in the aerial hyphae. Transcription of sigF depended upon all six of the early whi genes, including whiG. The sigF promoter does not resemble the consensus sequence established for σ(WhiG)- dependent promoters and Eσ(WhiG) did not transcribe from the sigF promoter in vitro. Consequently, the genetic dependence of sigF upon whig is very likely to be indirect. These results show that there is a hierarchical relationship between sigma factors required for Streptomyces sporulation and also that at least five other genes are involved in this transcriptional network.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)593-603
Number of pages11
JournalMolecular Microbiology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Aug 1996

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