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J Bacteriol. Sep 1993; 175(17): 5529–5538.
PMCID: PMC206609

Transfer functions of the conjugative integrating element pSAM2 from Streptomyces ambofaciens: characterization of a kil-kor system associated with transfer.

Abstract

pSAM2 is an 11-kb integrating element from Streptomyces ambofaciens. During matings, pSAM2 can be transferred at high frequency, forming pocks, which are zones of growth inhibition of the recipient strain. The nucleotide sequences of the regions involved in pSAM2 transfer, pock formation, and maintenance have been determined. Seven putative open reading frames with the codon usage typical of Streptomyces genes have been identified: traSA (306 amino acids [aa]), orf84 (84 aa), spdA (224 aa), spdB (58 aa), spdC (51 aa), spdD (104 aa), and korSA (259 aa). traSA is essential for pSAM2 intermycelial transfer and pock formation. It could encode a protein with similarities to the major transfer protein, Tra, of pIJ101. TraSA protein contains a possible nucleotide-binding sequence and a transmembrane segment. spdA, spdB, spdC, and spdD influence pock size and transfer efficiency and may be required for intramycelial transfer. A kil-kor system similar to that of pIJ101 is associated with pSAM2 transfer: the korSA (kil-override) gene product could control the expression of the traSA gene, which has lethal effects when unregulated (Kil phenotype). The KorSA protein resembles KorA of pIJ101 and repressor proteins belonging to the GntR family. Thus, the integrating element pSAM2 possesses for transfer general features of nonintegrating Streptomyces plasmids: different genes are involved in the different steps of the intermycelial and intramycelial transfer, and a kil-kor system is associated with transfer. However, some differences in the functional properties, organization, and sizes of the transfer genes compared with those of other Streptomyces plasmids have been found.

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