Molecular mechanisms of deletion formation in Escherichia coli plasmids - I. Deletion formation mediated by long direct repeats

Grigory L. Dianov, Andrew V. Kuzminov, Alexander V. Mazin, Rudolf I. Salganik

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Derivatives of plasmid pBR327 with the tet gene interrupted by 165 pb or 401 by direct repeats were constructed. In cells harboring these plasmids, deletions which restored the wild-type tet gene gave rise to tetracycline-resistant colonies, thereby allowing a simple phenotypic test for deletion formation. The frequencies of deletions in these plasmids were measured in Escherichia coli strains proficient or deficient in general recombination. The structure of plasmid DNA isolated from tetracycline-resistant transformants was analyzed by agarose gel electrophoresis, restriction mapping and sequencing. The data presented here demonstrate that deletion formation is always associated with dimerization of plasmid DNA. Dimeric plasmids were of two types. Those which carried both a deletion and a compensating duplication were the major type in a Rec+ background and were rare in recA, recF, recJ and recO backgrounds. Dimers of the second type contained deletions, but no compensating duplications, and their formation was RecA-independent. The data presented demonstrate that deletion formation mediated by long direct repeats is mainly the result of unequal crossing-over between two plasmid molecules.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)153-159
Number of pages7
JournalMGG Molecular & General Genetics
Volume228
Issue number1-2
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 1 1991
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Deletion
  • Direct repeats
  • Plasmid recombination
  • RecA-dependence
  • Unequal crossing-over

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics

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