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Plasmid. 2003 Jan;49(1):53-62.

Bacillus subtilis soil isolates: plasmid replicon analysis and construction of a new theta-replicating vector.

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Department of Genetics and Biotechnology, Biological Faculty, Belarusian State University, Minsk 220050, 4 Scorina Avenue, Belarus.


We have searched for plasmids in a collection of 55 Bacillus subtilis strains isolated from various natural sources of the territory of Belarus. Twenty percent of the strains contained one or two plasmids of either 6-8 or approximately 90 kb. Small plasmids were shown to carry a rolling circle replicon of the pC194 type. Four out of the eight large plasmids contained a related theta replicon that has no homolog in databases as shown by sequence determination. A B. subtilis/Escherichia coli shuttle vector based on this replicon was constructed. It has a low copy number (6 units per chromosome) and is stably inherited in B. subtilis. It might thus be a useful tool for DNA cloning. These data extend previous observations, indicating that most of the small plasmids of B. subtilis replicate as rolling circles and belong to the pC194 family. On the contrary, large plasmids appear to form a large pool of theta-replicating determinants, since three different replicons have already been isolated from them.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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