In contrast to the widely accepted consensus of the existence of a single RNA polymerase in bacteria, several actinomycetes have been recently shown to possess two forms of RNA polymerases due the to co-existence of two rpoB paralogs in their genome. However, the biological significance of the rpoB duplication is obscure. In this study we have determined the genome sequence of the lipoglycopeptide antibiotic A40926 producer Nonomuraea gerenzanensis ATCC 39727, an actinomycete with a large genome and two rpoB genes, i.e. rpoB(S) (the wild-type gene) and rpoB(R) (the mutant-type gene). We next analyzed the transcriptional and metabolite profiles in the wild-type gene and in two derivative strains over-expressing either rpoB(R) or a mutated form of this gene to explore the physiological role and biotechnological potential of the "mutant-type" RNA polymerase. We show that rpoB(R) controls antibiotic production and a wide range of metabolic adaptive behaviors in response to environmental pH. This may give interesting perspectives also with regard to biotechnological applications.
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