Structure, expression and products of the ribosomal RNA operons of Rhodopseudomonas palustris No.7.
Mol. Genet. Genomics 265: 778-790. 2001.
K. Zahn, M. Inui and H. Yukawa.

Rhodopseudomonas palustris strains carry one or two ribosomal rRNA operons, and those with duplicated rrn operons grow faster. The two rrn operons in R. palustris No. 7 are virtually identical over a 54,70-bp stretch containing the genes for 16S rRNA, tRNAile, tRNAala, 23S rRNA and 5S rRNA, as well as the intergenic spacers and part of the extragenic spacer. In R. palustris, unlike most bacteria with multiple rrn operons, the putative promoter sequences of the two operons are highly diverged, suggesting possible functional differentiation. By simultaneous primer-extension analysis of both pre-rRNAs, we detected a two-fold higher level of expression from rrnA under photoautotrophic conditions. Alteration of the conditions of growth leads to changes in the relative levels of expression of the two operons. Within the 5,470-bp segment, only two sequence differences are found between the 23S rRNA genes; one is at the center of the 23S rRNA molecule and affects a site of unknown function, and the other is within or immediately adjacent to sequences involved in processing of the 5' 23S rRNA IVS. In vitro processing of 5' IVS-containing 23S rRNA precursors from each operon does not reveal any detectable difference between them. The 5' ends of the mature 16S, 23S, and 5S rRNAs were determined by primer-extension analysis, and the 3' end of 23S rRNA was determined by RNA linker ligation-mediated cDNA cloning. The 5' and 3' ends of the R. palustris 23S rRNA molecule are extensively processed, suggesting that, unlike the situation in the established eubacterial model, these ends cannot basepair.