The organization of the ribosomal ribonucleic acid (rRNA) genes (rDNA) of Bacillus subtilis was examined by cleaving the genome with several restriction endonucleases. The rDNA sequences were assayed by hybridization with purified radioactive rRNA's. Our interpretation of the resulting electrophoretic patterns is strengthened by an analysis of a fragment of B. subtilis rDNA cloned in Escherichia coli. The results indicated that there are eight rRNA operons in B. subtilis. Each operon contains one copy of the sequences coding for 16S, 23S, and 5S rRNA. The sequences coding for 5S rRNA were shown to be more closely linked to the 23S rRNA genes than to the 16S rRNA genes
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