Recombination-dependent replication of plasmids during bacteriophage T4 infection.
The replication of plasmids containing fragments of the T4 genome, but no phage replication origins, was analyzed as a possible model for phage secondary (recombination-dependent) replication initiation. The replication of such plasmids after T4 infection was reduced or eliminated by mutations in several phage genes (uvsY, uvsX, 46, 59, 39, and 52) that have previously been shown to be involved in secondary initiation. A series of plasmids that collectively contain about 60 kilobase pairs of the T4 genome were tested for replication after T4 infection. With the exception of those known to contain tertiary origins, every plasmid replicated in a uvsY-dependent fashion. Thus, there is no apparent requirement for an extensive nucleotide sequence in the uvsY-dependent plasmid replication. However, homology with the phage genome is required since the plasmid vector alone did not replicate after phage infection. The products of plasmid replication included long concatemeric molecules with as many as 35 tandem copies of plasmid sequence. The production of concatemers indicates that plasmid replication is an active process and not simply the result of passive replication after the integration of plasmids into the phage genome. We conclude that plasmids with homology to the T4 genome utilize the secondary initiation mechanism of the phage. This simple model system should be useful in elucidating the molecular mechanism of recombination-dependent DNA synthesis in phage T4.
Kreuzer, KN; Yap, WY; Menkens, AE; Engman, HW
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