The complete nucleotide sequence of pSR1, a 3 kb multicopy cryptic plasmid from Corynebacterium glutamicum ATCC 19223 has been determined. pSR1 is unrelated to the 4.4 kb Brevibacterium lactofermentum plasmid pBL1 and shows no DNA sequence conservation with plasmids from Staphylococcus. Transposon insertion and deletion mutants located the minimal replicon to within a 2.1 kb NcoI-BclI restriction fragment. This region contains a single large open reading frame, ORF2, flanked at the 5' end by a series of inverted repeat sequences which may modulate its expression, and at the 3' end by a region which may contain a replication origin. ORF2 (position 1633-2636) with a maximum coding potential of 36 kDa is essential for pSR1 replication and was designated the rep gene. The predicted ORF2 protein product exhibits 47% identity over a length of 343 amino acids with a replication-associated ORF in the C. diphtheriae plasmid pNG2, many of the changes being in the third base position. This observation suggests that pSR1 and pNG2, which are two plasmids from environmentally separated Corynebacterium species, may share a common ancestral rep gene.
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