Individual gvp transcript segments in Haloferax mediterranei exhibit varying half-lives, which are differentially affected by salt concentration and growth phase

Nucleic Acids Res. 2002 Dec 15;30(24):5436-43. doi: 10.1093/nar/gkf699.


The mc-gvp genes for gas vesicle formation in Haloferax mediterranei are transcribed from two promoters located in front of the mc-gvpA and mc-gvpD genes. The different transcripts originating from both promoters show different abundances dependent on salt concentration in the medium and growth phase. Here we show that the half-lives of these transcripts differ significantly and that the small gvp transcripts exhibit higher stabilities than the larger gvp transcripts. While the stability of most gvp transcripts is independent of the salt concentration in the medium, the gvpA mRNA decays about twice as fast in cultures grown at 18% salt compared to cultures grown at 25% salt. The stability of the 0.45 kb transcript population derived from the 5' part of the gvpD gene depends on the growth phase of the culture. Thus, differences in mRNA stability contribute to the salt-dependent and growth phase-dependent abundance of gvp transcripts. This implies that, like in bacteria and eukarya, mRNA processing contributes to regulated gene expression in archaea.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Blotting, Northern
  • Cell Division / physiology
  • Genes, Archaeal / genetics*
  • Half-Life
  • Haloferax mediterranei / genetics*
  • Haloferax mediterranei / growth & development
  • Operon
  • RNA Processing, Post-Transcriptional
  • RNA Stability
  • RNA, Messenger / drug effects
  • RNA, Messenger / genetics
  • RNA, Messenger / metabolism*
  • Sodium Chloride / pharmacology*
  • Time Factors
  • Transcription, Genetic


  • RNA, Messenger
  • Sodium Chloride