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Curr Opin Microbiol. 1999 Oct;2(5):529-34.

Evolution of the linear DNA replicons of the Borrelia spirochetes.

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Division of Molecular Biology and Genetics Department of Oncological Sciences University of Utah Medical School Salt Lake City, UT 84321, USA.


Members of the spirochete genus Borrelia carry numerous linear DNA replicons with covalently closed hairpin telomeres. The genome of one member of this genus, B. burgdorferi B31, has now been completely characterized and contains a linear chromosome, twelve linear plasmids and nine circular extra-chromosomal elements. The phylogenetic position of the Borrelia spirochetes strongly suggests that a progenitor with circular replicons acquired the ability to replicate linear DNA molecules.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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