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Plasmid. 2003 May;49(3):205-32.

The patchwork nature of rolling-circle plasmids: comparison of six plasmids from two distinct Bacillus thuringiensis serotypes.

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National Institute of Occupational Health, Lersø Parkallé 105, DK-2100 Copenhagen, Denmark.


Bacillus thuringiensis, the entomopathogenic bacteria from the Bacillus cereus group, harbors numerous extrachromosomal molecules whose sizes vary from 2 to more than 200kb. Apart from the genes coding for the biopesticide delta-endotoxins located on large plasmids, little information has been obtained on these plasmids and their contribution to the biology of their host. In this paper, we embarked on a detailed comparison of six small rolling-circle replicating (RCR) plasmids originating from two major B. thuringiensis strains. The complete nucleotide sequences of plasmid pGI1, pGI2, pGI3, pTX14-1, pTX14-2, and pTX14-3 have been obtained and compared. Replication functions, comprising, for each plasmid, the gene encoding the Rep-protein, double-strand origin of replication (dso), single-strand origin of replication (sso), have been identified and analyzed. Two new families, or homology groups, of RCR plasmids originated from the studies of these plasmids (Group VI based on pGI3 and Group VII based on pTX14-3). On five of the six plasmids, loci involved in conjugative mobilization (Mob-genes and origin of transfer (oriT)) were identified. Plasmids pTX14-1, pTX14-2, and pTX14-3 each harbor an ORF encoding a polypeptide containing a central domain with repetitive elements similar to eukaryotic collagen (Gly-X-Y triplets). These genes were termed bcol for Bacillus-collagen-like genes.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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