, Volume 198, Issue 1, pp 35-41

Plasmids in different strains of Streptomyces ambofaciens : free and integrated form of plasmid pSAM2

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Five strains of Streptomyces ambofaciens were examined for their plasmid content. Among these strains, four belong to the same lineage (strains B) and the other was isolated independently (strain A). A large plasmid (ca. 80 kb), called pSAM1 in this paper and already described, was present in all B strains, and absent in strain A. A second plasmid, not described before, was found as covalently closed circular DNA in two of the four B strains. This plasmid with a size 11.1 kb was called pSAM2. A restriction map for 14 enzymes was established. Hybridization experiments showed that a unique sequence homologous to this plasmid is integrated in a larger replicon, which is not pSAM1 and is probably the chromosome, in all B strains and not in strain A. It seems probable that the integrated se1uence is the origin of the free plasmid found in two strains of the B family. It is noteworthy that the integrated form and the free plasmid may be found together. Transformation experiments proved that pSAM2 may be maintained autonomously in S. ambofaciens strain A and in S. lividans. pSAM2 is a self-transmissible plasmid, able to elicit the lethal zygosis reaction. pSAM2 was compared to the plasmids SLP1, pIJ110 and pIJ408, which all come from integrated sequences in three Streptomyces species and are found as autonomous plasmids after transfer to S. lividans. If pSAM2 resembles these plasmids in its origin, it does not appear to be related directly to them. Concerning their plasmid content, the two isolates of S. ambofaciens are very different. One of them contains neither pSAM1 not pSAM2. As this isolate produces spiramycin, these plasmids probably do not play an important role in spiramycin production. Apart from its intrinsic biological interest, pSAM2 may be useful in the construction of cloning vectors for S. ambofaciens. Very stable transformants might be obtained in certain strains of S. ambofaciens, because of the possibility of integration of the pSAM2 derivative vector.