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Mobilizable Rolling-Circle Replicating Plasmids from Gram-Positive Bacteria: A Low-Cost Conjugative Transfer.

ABSTRACT: Conjugation is a key mechanism for horizontal gene transfer in bacteria. Some plasmids are not self-transmissible but can be mobilized by functions encoded in trans provided by other auxiliary conjugative elements. Although the transfer efficiency of mobilizable plasmids is usually lower than that of conjugative elements, mobilizable plasmidsare more frequently found in nature. In this sense, replication and mobilization can be considered as important mechanisms influencing plasmid promiscuity. Here we review the present available information on two families of small mobilizable plasmids from Gram-positive bacteria that replicate via the rolling-circle mechanism. One of these families, represented by the streptococcal plasmid pMV158, is an interesting model since it contains a specific mobilization module (MOBV) that is widely distributed among mobilizable plasmids. We discuss a mechanism in which the promiscuity of the pMV158 replicon is based on the presence of two origins of lagging strand synthesis. The current strategies to assess plasmid transfer efficiency as well as to inhibit conjugative plasmid transfer are presented. Some applications of these plasmids as biotechnological tools are also reviewed.

PROVIDER: S-EPMC4297665 | BioStudies |

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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