An internal fragment of the recA gene from eight gram-positive organisms has been amplified by using degenerate primers in a polymerase chain reaction. The internal 348- or 360-bp recA DNA segments from Bacillus subtilis, Clostridium acetobutylicum, Lactobacillus bulgaricus, Lactobacillus helveticus, Leuconostoc mesanteroides, Listeria monocytogenes, Staphylococcus aureus, and Streptococcus salivarus subsp. thermophilus were amplified, cloned, and sequenced. The G + C contents of the DNA from these species range from 28 to 52%. The sequences of the bacterial recA genes show strong relatedness. This method is particularly useful for the recovery of the recA genes of gram-positive bacteria and avoids the difficulties of using a genetic complementation test for cloning
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