The figure was generated using Microbes on line facilities http:/

The figure was generated using Microbes on line facilities http://​www.​microbesonline.​org. DMXAA research buy Similarly filled arrows represent homologous CDSs. White arrows indicate CDSs without counterpart. Pseudogene is indicated by a dotted outline. RNA-encoding genes are represented by thin arrows. Two loci are shown for L. salivarius, one demonstrating the absence of a sigH counterpart in the same genetic context as B. subtilis and the other, at a distance of

0.9 Mb, showing the sigH homologous gene in its genetic context. Two loci are also shown for S. pneumoniae, which possesses two identical copies of comX. Positions of primers AML50 (upstream) and AML58 (downstream) are indicated by small arrows under the L. sakei sigH locus. Species are represented by Trichostatin A datasheet the same strains as listed in Figure 2. Nevertheless, the locus comprising σH-like gene may have experienced genetic rearrangements across the different genera and also among species of the same genus (Figure 1). Moreover, the σH-like

gene location seems to be variable in members of the Firmicutes, especially in the Lactobacillales (Figure 1). A putative σH-like gene is not found at the same location in Lactobacillus salivarius as in L. sakei (locus cysS-nusG). Likewise, the location of the unique gene for the ComX factor differs in the naturally competent Streptococcus thermophilus LMD9 from those of each of the identical comX copies in S. pneumoniae R6, in which both copies are adjacent to a tRNA gene and ribosomal operons. Although the genetic context of the σH-like locus is very well conserved between L. sakei and Lactobacillus plantarum, the two σH-like proteins share only 29% amino acid (aa) identity. Indeed, the level of inter-species aa identity of σH-like gene products across the genus Lactobacillus is low (e.g., < 20% between L. plantarum WCFS1 and L. jensenii 208-1 GABA Receptor to 67% between L. helveticus DPC4571 and L. crispatus MV1AUS). The LSA1677 gene product shares weak aa identity with the σH factors of B. subtilis (24%) and S. aureus (21%),

as well as 22% aa identity with ComX of S. pneumoniae (see Additional file 1: Alignment of four σH-group sigma factors). Due to the high sequence divergence between sigma factors, a robust phylogeny is difficult to achieve. Tentative clustering of σH-like sigma factors (Figure 2), also including sporulation and known ECF sigma factors of B. subtilis, separates σBsu H from the other sigma factors in that species and argues for the existence of a σH-type family in Firmicutes [12]. σH-like factors appear to form groups mostly congruent with the genus phylogeny, irrespective of the location of the relevant gene in the genomes (Figure 2). The σH-like sigma factors of lactobacilli added a fourth group to the three previously reported groups (whose type factors are σBsu H, σH-like of staphylococci and ComX of streptococci) [12].

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