Previous observations concerning the ability of the Bacillus subtilis bacteriophages SP10 and PMB12 to suppress mutations in spo0J and to make wild-type sporulation catabolite resistant suggested that spo0J had a role in catabolite repression of sporulation. This suggestion was supported in the present report by the ability of the catabolite-resistant sporulation mutation crsF4 to suppress a Tn917 insertion mutation of the B. subtilis spo0J locus (spo0J::Tn917 omega HU261) in medium without glucose. Although crsF4 and SP10 made wild-type B. subtilis sporulation catabolite resistant, neither crsF4 nor SP10 caused a mutant with spo0J::Tn917 omega HU261 to sporulate in medium with glucose. Sequencing the spo0J locus revealed an open reading frame that was 179 codons in length. Disruption of the open reading frame resulted in a sporulation-negative (Spo-) phenotype that was similar to those of other spo0J mutations. Analysis of the deduced amino acid sequence of the spo0J locus indicated that the spo0J gene product contains an alpha-helix-turn-alpha-helix unit similar to the motif found in lambda Cro-like DNA-binding proteins.
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