The plasmid pOri3 is a derivative of the origin of replication of pSa. Replication is defective as a result of a truncated repA gene, the product of which is required for plasmid replication. The defective replication is complemented by the presence of the intact repA gene of pSa, or by the presence of the plasmid R6K. The basis of this complementation has been examined by comparing the nucleotide sequence of the origin of pSa with that of R6K. A 13 base pair sequence present twice in the origin of pSa has homology with a 13 base pair sequence that is present fourteen times in the origin of R6K. These sequences may be the binding sites for the initiator proteins of these two plasmids. The location of these binding sites relative to the genes for the initiator proteins suggests that an autoregulatory control mechanism for the synthesis of the initiator proteins may also play a role in the control of plasmid copy number.
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