Stabilization of pSW100 from Pantoea stewartii by the F Conjugation system

Mei Hui Lin, Shin Tung Liu*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal Article peer-review

4 Scopus citations


Plasmid pSW100 is 1 of the 13 plasmids from Pantoea stewartii subsp. stewartii SW2 which has a replicon that resembles that of ColEl. This work uses a pSW100 derivative, pSW140K, to study how the pSW100 replicon is stably maintained in its hosts. Our results indicate that although pSW140K is stable in Escherichia coli HB101, the plasmid is rapidly lost in another E. coli strain, DH5α, indicating that the genetic background of an E. coli strain affects the stability of pSW140K. Mutagenesis of E. coli HB101 with EZ::TN <DHFR-1> revealed that mutations in traC, traF, traG, traN, and traV, which encode the components of the sex pilus assembly, reduce plasmid stability. Furthermore, this work identified that a 38-bp region located immediately upstream of the RNAII promoter is critical to the maintenance of plasmid stability in E. coli HB101. TraC binds to the region, and in addition, deleting the region destabilizes the plasmid. Furthermore, inserting this 38-bp fragment into a plasmid that contains the minimal replicon from pSW200 stabilizes the plasmid in E. coli HB101. Fluorescence in situ hybridization and immunofluorescence staining also revealed that derivatives of pSW100, pSW128A, and TraC are colocalized in cells, suggesting that pSW100 may use the sex pilus assembly as a partition apparatus to ensure the even distribution of the plasmid during cell division, which may thus maintain the plasmid's stability.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3681-3689
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Bacteriology
Issue number10
StatePublished - 05 2008


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