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J Antibiot (Tokyo). 1982 Oct;35(10):1367-73.

Function of plasmids in the production of aureothricin. I. Elimination of plasmids and alteration of phenotypes caused by protoplast regeneration in Streptomyces kasugaensis.


The spontaneous mutant 18a derived from Streptomyces kasugaensis MB273 exhibited pleiotropic effect such as loss of aerial mycelium formation, aureothricin (AT) production, and of citrullin biosynthesis, as well as changes in plasmid; the mutant required cystine for production of aureothricin. An improved method of protoplast regeneration was applied to S. kasugaensis MB 273-18a and a regeneration efficiency of 90% or more was obtained. Sixty to ninety percent of the colonies regenerated from the 18a protoplasts exhibited reversion of the pleiotropic mutation in 18a. Moreover, of 13 regenerated strains which showed these drastic phenotypic variations, it was found that their plasmid types varied. These types could be divided into two groups; the RI type (5 strains) which contained a large amount of pSK2, a small amount of pSK3 and no pSK1, and the RII type (8 strains) in which no closed-circular DNA was detected. From these results, the following conclusions were obtained. First, plasmid curing in RII type strains and also the variation of plasmid copy in the RI type strains occurred as the result of protoplast regeneration. Second, the structural genes for biosynthesis of AT probably exist on chromosome. Third, regeneration of 18a protoplasts causes the reversion of pleiotropic mutation with high frequency. A working hypothesis was proposed to explain these complex phenomena.

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