Host-specific effects of the korA-korB operon and oriT region on the maintenance of miniplasmid derivatives of broad host-range plasmid RK2

Thomas J. Schmidhauser, David H. Bechhofer, David H. Figurski, Donald R. Helinski

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16 Scopus citations

Abstract

Two genetic determinants are sufficient for small derivatives of broad host-range plasmid RK2 to replicate in different Gram-negative bacteria: trfA, which encodes a replication initiator, and oriV, the origin of replication. In this study, nonessential RK2 determinants in the region encoding oriT, the origin of conjugative transfer, and the korA-korB operon, whose products regulate trfA expression, were tested for their effects on the stability of mini-RK2 plasmids in eight different hosts. We found that determinants of both regions can substantially alter plasmid stability, but the effects are not uniform in all hosts. The results also indicate that the effects of the korA-korB operon extend beyond that of the regulation of trfA transcription. This study further illustrates the different requirements for stable plasmid maintenance in diverse bacteria and the ability of wild-type RK2 to adapt to a variety of intracellular environments. The data also provide further evidence for the involvement of different regions of RK2 for stable maintenance in various hosts.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)99-112
Number of pages14
JournalPlasmid
Volume21
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1989
Externally publishedYes

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