Two distinct regions of the Lactococcus lactis subsp. cremoris 9B4 plasmid p9B4-6, each of which specified bacteriocin production as well as immunity, have been sequenced and analyzed by deletion and frameshift mutation analyses. On a 1.8-kb ScaI-ClaI fragment specifying low antagonistic activity, three open reading frames (ORFs) were present, which were organized in an operon. The first two ORFs, containing 69 and 77 codons, respectively, were involved in bacteriocin activity, whereas the third ORF, containing 154 codons, was essential for immunity. Primer extension analysis indicated the presence of a promoter upstream of the ORFs. Two ORFs were present on a 1.3-kb ScaI-HindII fragment specifying high antagonistic activity. The first ORF, containing 75 codons, specified bacteriocin activity. The second ORF, containing 98 codons, specified immunity. The nucleotide sequences of both fragments upstream of the first ORFs as well as the first 20 bp of the first ORF of both bacteriocin operons appeared to be identical.
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