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Incompatibility between plasmids with independent copy control


Incompatibility between autonomous plasmids has been attributed, for the most part, to interaction between plasmids' negative control systems and/or partitioning systems. In this report it is shown that indirectly regulated plasmids with non-interactive negative control systems are incompatible on the basis of their shared initiator protein. This principle was demonstrated for a family of Staphylococcus aureus plasmids whose copy number is regulated by inhibitory RNAs that control the production of a rate-limiting, trans-active, initiator protein. We have constructed a pair of plasmids that have the same regulation systems and different intiator proteins and another pair with different regulation systems and the same initiators. Both of these pairs of plasmids were shown to be incompatible.

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Correspondence to Steven J. Projan.

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Communicated by P. Starlinger

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Projan, S.J., Novick, R.P. Incompatibility between plasmids with independent copy control. Molec. Gen. Genet. 204, 341–348 (1986).

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Key words

  • Plasmid incompatibility
  • Copy control