Nucleotide sequences that signal the initiation of transcription and translation in Bacillus subtilis.
We have determined the nucleotide sequence of two Bacillus subtilis promoters (veg and tms) that are utilized by the principal form of B. subtilis RNA polymerase found in vegetative cells (sigma 55-RNA polymerase) and have compared our sequences to those of several previously reported Bacillus promoters. Hexanucleotide sequences centered approximately 35 (the "--35" region) and 10 (the "--10" region) base pairs upstream from the veg and tms transcription starting points (and separated by 17 base pairs) corresponded closely to the consensus hexanucleotides (TTGACA and TATAAT) attributed to Escherichia coli promoters. Conformity to the preferred --35 and --10 sequences may not be sufficient to promote efficient utilization by B. subtilis RNA polymerase, however, since three promoters (veg, tms and E. coli tac) that conform to these sequences and that are utilized efficiently by E. coli RNA polymerase were used with highly varied efficiencies by B. subtilis RNA polymerase. We have also analyzed mRNA sequences in DNA located downstream from eight B. subtilis chromosomal and phage promoters for nucleotide sequences that might signal the initiation of translation. In accordance with the rules of McLaughlin, Murray and Rabinowitz (1981), we observe mRNA nucleotide sequences with extensive complementarity to the 3' terminal region of B. subtilis 16S rRNA, followed by an initiation codon and an open reading frame.