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Site specific recombination involved in the generation of small plasmids

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The physical structures of seven small plasmids, Rsc10, Rsc11, Rsc12, Rsc13, Rsc15, Rsc10-1 and pEM1 were analyzed. Molecular lengths of these plasmids were determined to range from 7.65 to 19.8 kilobases or kb. Electron microscope heteroduplex analysis of these plasmids show that the plasmids were all derived from pKN102 (86.3kb) in a complicated process that takes place by a series of deletion and, in some cases, transposition events. Rsc10 and Rsc11 were each formed by a simple deletion event from the parental plasmid. The physical structures of Rsc13 and pEM1 suggest that these plasmids must have been derived by a single and two successive deletion events from Rsc11. In the formation of these plasmids, all the deletions occured at the ends of the transposon, Tn3, which confers ampicillin resistance (amp) to the plasmid, or at the ends of the insertion sequence, IS1. Rsc15 was assumed to be formed in a two step process. The first step was a deletion event to form Rsc10-1 which occurs at one end of the IS1 present in pKN102. At first, the deletion event leaves out the ampicillin gene but in the second step Tn3 is transposed to the newly formed plasmid, Rsc10-1. Rsc12 is believed to have been formed in a similar fashion; first, a series of deletions and second, the transposition of Tn3.

Studies on these small plasmids enabled us to also map the regions of the replication genes and ampicillin resistance on pKN102.

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Correspondence to Eiichi Ohtsubo.

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Communicated by F. Kaudewitz

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Ohtsubo, E., Rosenbloom, M., Schrempf, H. et al. Site specific recombination involved in the generation of small plasmids. Molec. Gen. Genet. 159, 131–141 (1978). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00270886

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  • Recombination
  • Ampicillin
  • Step Process
  • Physical Structure
  • Insertion Sequence