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FEMS Microbiol Lett. 1999 May 15;174(2):285-94.

Molecular characterisation of a 5.75-kb cryptic plasmid from Bifidobacterium breve NCFB 2258 and determination of mode of replication.

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Department of Microbiology, University College, Cork, Ireland.


A small cryptic plasmid originating from Bifidobacterium breve NCFB 2258 was cloned and its complete nucleotide sequence determined. pCIBb1 is a circular DNA molecule, 5750 bp in size with a GC composition of 57%. Computer-assisted analysis identified 10 possible open reading frames (ORFs), seven of which could be assigned no function from homology searches. One ORF, rep (380 amino acids), was postulated to encode a replication protein similar to known replication proteins of rolling circle replicons, particularly those of the pC194 family. Demonstration of single-stranded forms of the plasmid in cell lysates that could be specifically degraded by S1 nuclease provided experimental evidence to substantiate a replication mechanism via single-stranded intermediates. Two other ORFs, par (199 amino acids) and an ftsK-like gene (286 amino acids), were assigned putative functions based on the presence of conserved motifs in their deduced proteins.

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