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J Bacteriol. 1985 Sep;163(3):841-9.

Effects of the ccd function of the F plasmid on bacterial growth.


The ccd segment of the mini F plasmid containing the ccdA and ccdB genes controls the coordination between plasmid proliferation and cell physiology and fate. When the DNA replication of a thermosensitive-replication plasmid carrying the ccd segment of mini F is blocked, plasmid DNA molecules are progressively diluted through cell division until the copy number reaches 1 per cell. From this time on, there is little increase in the number of viable cells, although cells continue to divide, resulting in a mixed population of viable cells (mostly plasmid containing), nonviable but residually dividing cells, and nonviable nondividing cells. Results are presented suggesting that plasmid-containing cells are viable and continue to divide, whereas plasmid-free segregants are nonviable and form filaments after a few residual divisions, with DNA synthesis reduced or arrested in the filaments. Although the ccd functions are known to induce the SOS response when plasmid replication is blocked, the production of nonviable plasmid-free segregants is independent of the SOS cell division inhibition mechanism determined by the sfiA and sfiC genes.

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