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Plasmid. 1985 Nov;14(3):235-44.

Segregational instability of pUB110-derived recombinant plasmids in Bacillus subtilis.


To study plasmid instability in Bacillus subtilis the pUB110-derived hybrid plasmid pLB2 (3.6 kb) and the bifunctional replicon pLB5 (5.9 kb), able to replicate in B. subtilis and Escherichia coli, were constructed. In both vectors homologous B. subtilis, or heterologous E. coli DNA fragments of various lengths were inserted. Irrespective of the source of the cloned DNA, the segregational stability of the recombinant plasmids in B. subtilis was severely affected by the DNA inserts. In contrast, no instability was observed in E. coli. In B. subtilis a steep inverse relationship existed between the size of the inserts and the level of stability. Increased size of the pLB plasmids resulted in strongly reduced copy numbers. This seems to be the primary cause of the size-dependent segregational instability.

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