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Mol Microbiol. 1997 Nov;26(4):709-19.

Instability of artificially circularized chromosomes of Streptomyces lividans.

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Institute of Biochemistry, National Yang-Ming University, Shih-Pai, Taipei, Taiwan.


The chromosomes of Streptomyces species are linear molecules, containing long terminal inverted repeats and covalently bound terminal proteins. These chromosomes undergo spontaneous deletions of the terminal sequences at high frequencies and become circularized in several cases examined. Artificial circularization of the Streptomyces lividans chromosome was also achieved by targeted recombination in vivo, in which the terminal inverted repeats of the chromosome were connected by a kanamycin resistance gene (aphII). Under kanamycin selection, the circularized chromosomes harboured tandem amplifications of a 20.2 kb sequence that included the aphII gene flanked by direct repeats and deletions nearby. On release from kanamycin selection, the aphII amplifications and the neighbouring sequences were deleted from the chromosomes, rendering all the cultures kanamycin sensitive. The chloramphenicol resistance gene, which was prone to deletion in wild-type S. lividans, became much more stable in the kanamycin-sensitive derivatives. These results indicate that the telomeres and/or certain terminal sequences may be involved in the structural instability of Streptomyces chromosomes.

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