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Appl Environ Microbiol. 1998 Sep;64(9):3383-8.

Mercury resistance is encoded by transferable giant linear plasmids in two chesapeake bay Streptomyces strains.

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Center of Marine Biotechnology, University of Maryland Biotechnology Institute, Baltimore, Maryland 21202, USA.


The Streptomyces strains CHR3 and CHR28, isolated from the Baltimore Inner Harbor, contained two and one, respectively, giant linear plasmids which carry terminally bound proteins. The plasmids pRJ3L (322 kb), from CHR3, and pRJ28 (330 kb), from CHR28, carry genes homologous to the previously characterized chromosomal Streptomyces lividans 66 operon encoding resistance against mercuric compounds. Both plasmids are transmissible (without any detectable rearrangement) to the chloramphenicol-resistant S. lividans TK24 strain lacking plasmids and carrying a chromosomal deletion of the mer operon. S. lividans TK24 conjugants harboring pRJ3L or pRJ28 exhibited profiles of mercury resistance to mercuric compounds similar to those of Streptomyces strains CHR3 and CHR28.

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