Here we present evidence that the cryptic 5.6-kb plasmid found in certain strains ofStreptococcus mutans is not involved in mutacin production. This evidence comes from demonstrating similarities between a plasmid-less strain T8 and a group II plasmid strain UA96. Both produce what appears to be an identical mutacin based on spectrum of activity and physiological properties. Also, T8 and UA96 are members of the same immunity group (group II). Genotypically, both strains appear similar except for plasmid content based on DNA fingerprinting profiles. T8 and UA96 exhibit identical hybridization patterns following transformation of T8 with a mutacin-negative (bac-1::Tn916) sequence from a Tn916-insertionally inactivated mutant of UA96. This transformation also resulted in the mutacin-negative phenotype in T8 transformants, showing recombination between a mutacin-associated gene in UA96 and its apparent homologous sequence in T8. Moreover, when a plasmid containing a putative repeat element from UA96 (pPC264) was used as a probe, it hybridized to the same fiveEcoRI fragments in both T8 and UA96. Collectively, these data, coupled with data from other sources, indicate that the plasmid resident in mutacin II strains is not involved in mutacin production.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Biology