The phsA gene encodes phenoxazinone synthase (PHS), which catalyses the penultimate step in the pathway for actinomycin biosynthesis in Streptomyces antibioticus. The phsA promoter strikingly resembles a putative StreptomycesσE cognate promoter, and purified EσE holoenzyme transcribed the phsA promoter in vitro. However, the phsA promoter was still active in an S. antibioticussigE null mutant and the level of PHS activity was unaffected. Despite this, disruption of sigE blocked actinomycin production completely. The loss of actinomycin production correlated with a 10-fold decrease in the activity of actinomycin synthetase I, the enzyme which catalyses the activation of the precursor of the actinomycin chromophore.