A self-splicing group I intron in the DNA polymerase gene of Bacillus subtilis bacteriophage SPO1.


We report a self-splicing intron in bacteriophage SPO1, whose host is the gram-positive Bacillus subtilis. The intron contains all the conserved features of primary sequence and secondary structure previously described for the group IA introns of eukaryotic organelles and the gram-negative bacteriophage T4. The SPO1 intron contains an open reading frame of 522 nucleotides. As in the T4 introns, this open reading frame begins in a region that is looped out of the secondary structure, but ends in a highly conserved region of the intron core. The exons encode SPO1 DNA polymerase, which is highly similar to E. coli DNA polymerase I. The demonstration of self-splicing introns in viruses of both gram-positive and gram-negative eubacteria lends further evidence for their early origin in evolution.




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