Structure and sequence of the rfb (O antigen) gene cluster of Salmonella serovar typhimurium (strain LT2)



The rfb gene cluster of Salmonella LT2 has been cloned and sequenced. The genes rfbA, rfbB, rfbD, rfbF, rfbG, rfbK, rfbM and rfbP were located individually and the gene rfbL was located outside the cluster. Approximately 16 open reading frames were found in the region which is essential for the expression of O antigen. The gene products of rfbB and rfbG were found to have homology with the group of dehydrogenase and related enzymes described previously. Analysis of the G+C ratio of the rfb cluster extended the area of low-G+C composition previously found in the sequence of rfbJ to the whole rfb gene cluster. Three to five segments with discrete G+C contents and codon adaptation indices are present in the rfb region, indicating a heterogeneous origin of these segments. Potential promoters were found near the start of the rfb region, supporting the possibility that the rfb gene cluster is an operon.