Two linear deoxyribonucleic acid plasmids, designated pGK11 and pGK12, were isolated from the yeast Kluyveromyces lactis IFO 1267. pGK11 and pGK12 had molecular weights of 5.4 X 10(6) and 8.4 X 10(6), respectively. Both plasmids possessed the same density of 1.687 g/cm3, lighter than the densities of mitochondrial (1.692 g/cm3) and nuclear (1.699 g/cm3) deoxyribonucleic acids. A restriction map of pGK11 was constructed from digestions by EcoRI, HindIII, PstI, and BamHI. pGK12 was cleaved by EcoRI into seven fragments and by BamHI into two fragments K. lactis IFO 1267 killed Saccharomyces cerevisiae sensitive and killer strains and certain strains of Saccharomyces italicus, K. lactis, Kluyveromyces thermotolerans, and K. vanudenii. All K. lactis strains lacking the pGK1 plasmids were nonkillers. A hybrid was constructed between K. lactis IFO 1267 and a nonkiller K. lactis strain lacking the plasmids and subjected to tetrad analysis after sporulation. The killer character was extrachromosomally transmitted in all tetrads in association with the pGK1 plasmids. The double-stranded ribonucleic acid killer plasmid could not be detected in any K. lactis killer strains. It is thus highly probable that the killer character is mediated by the linear deoxyribonucleic acid plasmids. A single chromosomal gene was found which was responsible for the resistance to the K. lactis killer
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