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Plasmid partition and incompatibility: the focus shifts
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Biology, Department of Cell and Molecular Biology.
2007 (English)In: Molecular Microbiology, ISSN 0950-382X, E-ISSN 1365-2958, Vol. 65, no 6, 1405-1414 p.Article, review/survey (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The mitotic apparatus that a plasmid uses to ensure its stable inheritance responds to the appearance of an additional copy of the plasmid's centromere by segregating it from the pre-existing copies: if the new copy arises by replication of the plasmid the result is partition, if it arrives on a different plasmid the result is incompatibility. Incompatibility thus serves as a probe of the partition mechanism. Coupling of distinct plasmids via their shared centromeres to form mixed pairs has been the favoured explanation for centromere-based incompatibility, because it supports a long-standing assumption that pairing of plasmid replicas is a prerequisite for their partition into daughter cells. Recent results from molecular genetic and fluorescence microscopy studies challenge this mixed pairing model. Partition incompatibility is seen to result from various processes, including titration, randomized positioning and a form of mixed pairing that is based on co-activation of the same partition event rather than direct contact between partition complexes. The perspectives thus opened onto the partition mechanism confirm the continuing utility of incompatibility as an approach to understanding bacterial mitosis. The results considered are compatible with the view that direct pairing of plasmids is not essential to plasmid partition.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2007. Vol. 65, no 6, 1405-1414 p.
National Category
Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-150151DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2958.2007.05882.xISI: 000249425600004OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-150151DiVA: diva2:406852
Available from: 2011-03-28 Created: 2011-03-25 Last updated: 2011-03-28Bibliographically approved

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