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Gene. 1990 Mar 1;87(1):53-61.

Structurally stable Bacillus subtilis cloning vectors.

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Institut de Biotechnologie, INRA, Jouy en Josas, France.


Cloning of long DNA segments (greater than 5 kb) in Bacillus subtilis is often unsuccessful when naturally occurring small (less than 10 kb) plasmids are used as vectors. In this work we show that vectors derived from the large (26.5 kb) plasmids pAM beta 1 and pTB19 allow efficient cloning and stable maintenance of long DNA segments (up to 33 kb). The two large plasmids differ from the small ones in several ways. First, replication of the large plasmids does not lead to accumulation of detectable amounts of ss DNA, whereas the rolling-circle replication typical for small plasmids does. In addition, the replication regions of the two large plasmids share no sequence homology with the corresponding regions of the known small plasmids, which are highly conserved. Taken together, these observations suggest that the mode of replication of the large plasmids is different from that of small plasmids. Second, short repeated sequences recombine much less frequently when carried on large than on small plasmids. This indicates that large plasmids are structurally much more stable than small ones. We suggest that the high structural stability of large plasmids is a consequence of their mode of replication and that plasmids which do not replicate as rolling circles should be used whenever it is necessary to clone and maintain long DNA segments in any organism.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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