Copy number of the 16S rRNA gene in Coxiella burnetii

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Coxiella burnetii is an obligate intracellular bacterium with a doubling time of 5–7 hours. Chromosomal DNA from C. burnetii was digested with various restriction enzymes previously determined to not cut within the genomic 16S rRNA gene, or with a combination of these noncutting enzymes in conjunction with AflIII, a restriction enzyme that cuts twice within the 16S rRNA gene. Restriction fragments were resolved electrophoretically and probed with a radiolabeled DNA fragment containing the 3′ AflIII portion of the C. burnetii 16S rRNA gene. Only a single DNA fragment in these digests hybridized to the probe, indicating that there is a single genomic copy of the 16S rRNA gene in C. burnetii and thus only a single copy of the rRNA operon.

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