Incompatibility and the partitioning site of the repABC basic replicon of the symbiotic plasmid from Rhizobium etli

Nora E SoberónMiguel A Cevallos


The basic replicon of the symbiotic plasmid (p42d) of Rhizobium etli CE3 is constituted by the repABC operon. Whereas RepC is essential for plasmid replication, RepA and RepB are involved in plasmid partitioning. Three incompatibility regions have been previously identified in this plasmid: the first one encodes RepA, a partitioning protein that also down-regulates the repABC transcription. The second region is situated within the repB-repC intergenic sequence (inc(alpha)), and the last one, inc(beta), is located in a 502 bp EcoRI fragment spanning the last 72-bp of the coding region of repC and the following downstream sequence. In this paper we show that: (1) The inc(beta) region is required for plasmid partitioning. (2) A 16-bp palindrome sequence, located 40 bp downstream of the repC gene of plasmid p42d, is necessary and sufficient to induce incompatibility towards the parental plasmid, and accounts for all the incompatibility properties of this region (inc(beta)). (3). The palindrome is the DNA target site for RepB binding. With these findings we propose that inc(beta) contains the partitioning site (par site) of the basic replicon of plasmid p42d, and that the 16-bp palindrome is the core sequence to nucleate the RepB bi...Continue Reading


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