, Volume 192, Issue 3, pp 335-341

Molecular cloning of the genes for xylan degradation of Bacillus pumilus and their expression in Escherichia coli

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The 7.7 Mdal PstI fragment of Bacillus pumilus IPO containing genes for xylan degradation, xylanase, and β-xylosidase was inserted at the PstI site of pBR322 and cloned in E. coli C600. The hybrid plasmid thus formed was named pOXN29. The amount of xylanase and β-xylosidase expressed in E. coli harboring pOXN29 was about 6% and 20% of the activity produced by the donor, B. pumilus. The reverse orientation of the inserted fragment resulted respectively in 5 times and 50 times increases in xylanase and β-xylosidase productivities. Both enzymes expressed in E. coli transformants were shown to be indistinguishable from those of B. pumilus by immunological and chemical criteria. Digestion of pOXN29 with BglII produced two fragments; one was 6.7 Mdal in size and contained the whole pBR322 and the β-xylosidase gene, and the other was 3.7 Mdal and coded for xylanase. Analysis of enzymes expressed in the transformant cells indicated that neither enzyme was secreted into the culture medium, periplasm nor membrane bound, although xylanase but not β-xylosidase, was secreted into the medium in a B. pumilus culture.

Communicated by W. Arber