Effects of the generation of single-stranded DNA on the maintenance of plasmid pMV158 and derivatives in different Bacillus subtilis strains
The effects of the single-strand origins (SSOs) of plasmid pMV158 on (i) the conversion of its single-stranded (ss) replication intermediates to double-stranded (ds) plasmid DNA and (ii) its maintenance were analyzed. The rolling-circle plasmid pMV158, which replicates via ssDNA intermediates, contains two single-strand origins (SSOs) of replication, palA and palU. In this paper the results obtained with Bacillus subtilis are described; complementary studies with Lactococcus lactis are presented in the accompanying paper (Meijer et al., 1995). While in L. lactis both SSOs are functional as ssDNA conversion signal, only palU appeared to be active B. subtilis. Similar to the situation in L. lactis, the accumulation of large amounts of ssDNA resulted in a severe decrease in plasmid maintenance in B. subtilis. In the latter bacterium large amounts of ssDNA were only accumulated, however, when plasmids lacking a functional SSO were propagated in RecA mutant strains. In wild-type RecA strains these plasmids accumulated only modest amounts of ssDNA and they were maintained at fairly stable levels. The results suggest that in B. subtilis a RecA-mediated alternative pathway exists for the conversion of ssDNA which can improve plasmid maintenance. In addition to ssDNA accumulation and the antagonizing role of RecA therein, two other plasmid regions were shown to affect pMV158 maintenance in B. subtilis. One was the mob gene region, which had a negative effect on plasmid maintenance, and the other the palA type SSO. Although palA was not functional as an ssDNA conversion signal in B. subtilis, its presence had a positive effect on pMV158 maintenance
Meijer, WJ., van der Lelie, D., Venema, G., & Bron, S. (1995). Effects of the generation of single-stranded DNA on the maintenance of plasmid pMV158 and derivatives in different Bacillus subtilis strains. Plasmid, 33(2), 79-89.