Novobiocin eliminated (cured) F'lac and three low-copy-number mini-F plasmids (pML31, pMF21, and pMF45) from Escherichia coli to different extents. F'lac was cured 0 to 3%. pML31, whose replication region is contained on the 9-kilobase f5 EcoRI restriction enzyme fragment of F, was eliminated 10 to 92%. pMF21, deleted of the origin of mini-F replication at 42.6 kilobases on the F map and known to initiate from an origin at 45.1 kilobases, and its closely related derivative pMF45 were cured to the greatest extent (greater than 97%). pMF45 was eliminated from a wild-type bacterial strain but not from an isogenic novobiocin-resistant gyrB mutant strain, indicating involvement of the B subunit of DNA gyrase in the curing phenomenon. The number of bacteria containing pMF45 halved with each generation of growth in the presence of novobiocin, as is predicted for complete inhibition of plasmid DNA replication
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