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Mol Gen Genet. 1984;197(3):461-6.

Conjugative transfer of IncI1 plasmid DNA primase.


DNA primase of ColIb-P9drd-1 generates RNA primers that are thought to initiate DNA synthesis on the conjugatively transferred strand of the plasmid. To examine whether plasmid-specified primase is transferred during conjugation, we exploited the property of the enzyme to promote bacterial DNA replication in dnaG (primase-defective) mutants of Escherichia coli. It was found that dnaG3 recipient cells, treated with rifampicin to inhibit transcription, recovered ability to synthesise bacterial DNA by a process requiring an active plasmid primase gene in donor cells and a functional conjugation system. A non-transferable primase gene in the donor strain complemented a primase-negative derivative of ColIb-P9drd-1, confirming that the enzyme responsible for recovery was supplied by donor cells. The implication is that certain proteins are transmitted from donor cells to promote conjugative metabolism of plasmid DNA in the recipients.

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