SCP1, a 356 023 bp linear plasmid adapted to the ecology and developmental biology of its host, Streptomyces coelicolor A3(2)


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The sequencing of the entire genetic complement of Streptomyces coelicolor A3(2) has been completed with the determination of the 365 023 bp sequence of the linear plasmid SCP1. Remarkably, the functional distribution of SCP1 genes somewhat resembles that of the chromosome: predicted gene products/functions include ECF sigma factors, antibiotic biosynthesis, a gamma-butyrolactone signalling system, members of the actinomycete-specific Wbl class of regulatory proteins and 14 secreted proteins. Some of these genes are among the 18 that contain a TTA codon, making them targets for the developmentally important tRNA encoded by the bldA gene. RNA analysis and gene fusions showed that one of the TTA-containing genes is part of a large bldA-dependent operon, the gene products of which include three proteins isolated from the spore surface by detergent washing (SapC, D and E), and several probable metabolic enzymes. SCP1 shows much evidence of recombinational interactions with other replicons and transposable elements during its history. For example, it has two sets of partitioning genes (which may explain why an integrated copy of SCP1 partially suppressed the defective partitioning of a parAB-deleted chromosome during sporulation). SCP1 carries a cluster of probable transfer determinants and genes encoding likely DNA polymerase III subunits, but it lacks an obvious candidate gene for the terminal protein associated with its ends. This may be related to atypical features of its end sequences.