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Plasmid. 2009 Sep;62(2):57-70. doi: 10.1016/j.plasmid.2009.05.001. Epub 2009 May 22.

Replication and conjugative mobilization of broad host-range IncQ plasmids.

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Institute for Cell and Molecular Biology, University of Texas at Austin, 78712-0162, USA.


The IncQ plasmids have a broader host-range than any other known replicating element in bacteria. Studies on the replication and conjugative mobilization of these plasmids, which have mostly been focused on the nearly identical RSF1010 and R1162, are summarized with a view to understanding how this broad host-range is achieved. Several significant features of IncQ plasmids emerge from these studies: (1) initiation of replication, involving DnaA-independent activation of the origin and a dedicated primase, is strictly host-independent. (2) The plasmids can be conjugatively mobilized by a variety of different type IV transporters, including those engaged in the secretion of proteins involved in pathogenesis. (3) Stability is insured by a combination of high copy-number and modulated gene expression to reduce metabolic load.

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