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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Sequence analysis and characterization of plasmids from Streptococcus thermophilus.

The nucleotide sequences of eight plasmids isolated from seven Streptococcus thermophilus strains have been determined. Plasmids pSt04, pER1-1, and pJ34 are related and replicate via a rolling circle mechanism. Plasmid pJ34 encodes for a replication initiation protein (RepA) and a small polypeptide with unknown function. Plasmids pSt04 and pER1-1 carry in addition to repA genes coding for small heat shock proteins (sHsp). Expression of these proteins is induced at elevated temperatures or low pH and increases the thermo- and acid resistance. Plasmids pER1-2 and pSt22-2 show identical sequences with five putative open reading frames (ORFs). The gene products of ORF1 and ORF4 reveal some similarities to transposon encoded proteins of Bacillus subtilis and Tn916. ORF1 of plasmid pSt106 encodes a protein similar to resolvases of different Gram-positive bacteria. Integrity of ORF2 and 3, encoding a putative DNA primase and a replication protein, is essential for replication. ORF1 to 3 of plasmid pSt08, which are organized in a tricistronic operon, encode a RepA protein, an adenosine-specific methyltransferase, and a type II restriction endonuclease. Another type II restriction-modification (R/M) system is encoded on plasmid pSt0 which is highly similar to those encoded on lactococcal plasmid pHW393 and B. subtilis plasmid pXH13. Plasmid-free derivatives of strains St0 and St08 show increased phage sensitivity, indicating that in the wild-type strains the R/M systems are functionally expressed. Recombinant plasmids based on the replicons of plasmids pSt04, pJ34, pSt106, pSt08, and pSt0, are able to replicate in Lactococcus lactis and B. subtilis, respectively, whereas constructs carrying pER1-2 only replicate in S. thermophilus.[1]


  1. Sequence analysis and characterization of plasmids from Streptococcus thermophilus. Geis, A., El Demerdash, H.A., Heller, K.J. Plasmid (2003) [Pubmed]
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