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Microbiology. 1994 Jun;140 ( Pt 6):1291-300.

The majority of lactococcal plasmids carry a highly related replicon.

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Department of Genetics, Centre of Biological Sciences, Haren, The Netherlands.


DNA sequence analysis and Southern hybridizations, together with complementation experiments, were used to study relationships between lactococcal plasmid replicons. pWVO2, pWVO4 and pWVO5, which co-exist in Lactococcus lactis subsp. cremoris Wg2, and pIL7 (isolated from another strain) all contained a functional replication region which appeared to be very similar to that of some known lactococcal plasmids. They contain a gene encoding a highly conserved RepB protein (60-80% amino acid identity between pWVO2, pWVO4 and pWVO5), which is essential for replication. When supplied in trans, repB of pWVO2 complemented a repB deficiency of pWVO5. Upstream of the repB gene, all these plasmids contain a strongly conserved region including a 22 bp sequence tandemly repeated three-and-a-half times, and an A/T-rich region. The similarity with pWVO2, which is known to replicate via a theta mechanism, suggests that all plasmids of this family are capable of theta replication. Southern hybridizations revealed that many lactococcal strains contain plasmids of this family.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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