Bacteria use two-component signal transduction systems to sense and respond to environmental signals. Two-component signal transduction systems generally consist of a histidine protein kinase and a cognate response regulator that participate in histidine-aspartate phosphorelays. The histidine protein kinase senses the environmental signal, autophosphorylates, signaling the response regulator which modulates an output response, typically transcriptional regulation (Appleby et al. 1996). Two novel sensor kinase genes, regR and regM have been found in Rhizobium leguminosarum. They are being characterized by sequence analysis, mutagenesis, phenotypic assays, and gusA-promoter fusion analysis by comparing expression in wild-type and mutant backgrounds.
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