The 3' end of the small ribosomal RNAs (ssu rRNA) in bacteria is directly involved in the selection and binding of mRNA transcripts during translation initiation via well-documented interactions between a Shine-Dalgarno (SD) sequence located upstream of the initiation codon and an anti-SD (aSD) sequence at the 3' end of the ssu rRNA. Consequently, the 3' end of ssu rRNA (3'TAIL) is strongly conserved among bacterial species because a change in the region may impact the translation of many protein-coding genes. Escherichia coli and Bacillus subtilis differ in their 3' ends of ssu rRNA, being GAUCACCUCCUUA3' in E. coli and GAUCACCUCCUUUCU3' or GAUCACCUCCUUUCUA3' in B. subtilis. Such differences in 3'TAIL lead to species-specific SDs (designated SDEc for E. coli and SDBs for B. subtilis) that can form strong and well-positioned SD/aSD pairing in one species but not in the other. Selection mediated by the species-specific 3'TAIL is expected to favour SDBs against SDEc in B. subtilis but favour SDEc against SDBs in E. coli. Among well-positioned SDs, SDEc is used more in E. coli than in B. subtilis, and SDBs more in B. subtilis than in E. coli. Highly expressed genes and genes of high translation efficiency tend to have longer SDs than lowly expressed genes and genes with low translation efficiency in both species, but more so in B. subtilis than in E. coli. Both species overuse SDs matching the bolded part of 3'TAIL shown above. The 3'TAIL difference contributes to host-specificity of phages.
- Received January 9, 2017.
- Accepted March 29, 2017.
- Copyright © 2017 Author et al.
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