A gene, FLONS, conferring NewFlo-type flocculation ability in yeast was cloned. The 3,396-bp ORF encoded a peptide of 1,132 amino acids with high identity to Flo1 protein. Aligned with the FLO1 gene, two repeated regions (675 and 540 bp) were lost in the middle of FLONS, revealing that this gene was a derived form of the FLO1 gene. The missing repeated sequence contained three highly homologous repeat units. Although the flocculation phenotype of the transformant YTS-S with the FLONS gene was inhibited by both mannose and glucose, it exhibited some distinguished physiological characteristics from the reported typical NewFlo-type flocculation during detailed investigation. The deletion of repeats was suspected to cause conversion of the flocculation phenotype from Flo1 to NewFlo, suggesting that intragenic tandem repeats generated functional variability in Flo1 protein.

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