ERIC Sequences: A Novel Family of Repetitive Elements in the Genomes of Escherichia Coli, Salmonella Typhimurium and Other Enterobacteria

Mol Microbiol. 1991 Apr;5(4):825-34. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2958.1991.tb00755.x.


We describe a family of highly conserved, Enterobacterial Repetitive Intergenic Consensus (ERIC) sequences, 14 of which have been identified in Escherichia coli and Salmonella typhimurium and a further three in other enterobacterial species (Yersinia pseudotuberculosis, Klebsiella pneumoniae and Vibrio cholerae). ERIC sequences are 126 bp long and appear to be restricted to transcribed regions of the genome, either in intergenic regions of polycistronic operons or in untranslated regions upstream or downstream of open reading frames. ERIC sequences are highly conserved at the nucleotide sequence level but their chromosomal locations differ between species. Several features of ERIC sequences resemble those of REP sequences (Stern et al., 1984) although the nucleotide sequence is entirely different. The question of whether ERICs have a specific function, or represent a form of 'selfish' DNA, is discussed.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Base Sequence
  • Chromosomes, Bacterial
  • Consensus Sequence / genetics*
  • Enterobacteriaceae / genetics*
  • Escherichia coli / genetics*
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Nucleic Acid Conformation
  • Open Reading Frames / genetics
  • Phylogeny
  • RNA, Bacterial / chemistry
  • RNA, Bacterial / genetics
  • Repetitive Sequences, Nucleic Acid / genetics*
  • Salmonella typhimurium / genetics
  • Sequence Alignment


  • RNA, Bacterial

Associated data

  • GENBANK/M36651