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EMBO J. Mar 1986; 5(3): 631–637.
PMCID: PMC1166809

Are single-stranded circles intermediates in plasmid DNA replication?


Plasmid pC194 exists as circular double-stranded and single-stranded DNA in Bacillus subtilis and Staphylococcus aureus. We report here that the plasmid pHV33, composed of pBR322 and pC194, exists as double- and single-stranded DNA in Escherichia coli, provided that the replication functions of pC194 are intact. Single-stranded pHV33 DNA is converted to double-stranded DNA by complementary strand synthesis probably initiated at rriB, a primosome assembly site present on pBR322. The efficiency of complementary strand synthesis affects the double-stranded copy number, which suggests that single-stranded DNA is a plasmid replication intermediate.

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