We have constructed gene fusions between ptsM/pel and lacZ. These fusions affect both phenotypes assigned to the ptsM/pel locus (at 40 min), namely, no growth on mannose or glucosamine and inhibition of the penetration of bacteriophage λ DNA, as well as that of other lambdoid phages such as Hy-2. Since the lacZ gene fusions are insertion mutations that abolish target gene function by disrupting the linear contiguity of the gene, it would appear that ptsM and pel are either the same gene, or two genes within the same operon. Several size classes of these ptsM/pel-lacZ fusions have been isolated and the corresponding hybrid proteins are associated with the cytoplasmic membrane of Escherichia coli. This is consistent with the proposal that ptsM/pel codes for Enzyme II of the phosphotransferase transport system (PTS) specific for mannose, glucosamine, fructose and glucose. However, we have also identified Tn 10 insertion mutations that confer a Man- phenotype but have no effect on the Pel phenotype. Complementation analysis indicates that the Tn 10 insertions and the lacZ gene fusions are in different genes. Both of these genes are involved in mannose uptake. This suggests that the locus at 40 min can be subdivided into two genes whose products are required for mannose uptake and that only one of these is involved in the penetration of λ DNA.
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