SUMMARY: A simple gel electrophoresis method has been described for the detection of plasmid DNA in bacteria (Meyers 1976). We investigated further the problems encountered in using this method for the analysis of plasmids in wild enterobacterial strains. The migration of open circular and linear plasmid DNA was examined, since these forms sometimes caused difficulty in the interpretation of the plasmid content of uncharacterized strains. Electrophoresis at different agarose concentrations was employed to resolve clearly plasmid DNA from the chromosomal DNA fragments in the crude preparations. Dissociation of some plasmids occurs in and this was detected by electrophoresis. The technique was applied to the study of drug-resistant strains of phage type 208 from several Middle Eastern countries. The cultures carry a drug resistance plasmid of the F compatibility group, and at least two other plasmids which were detected and identified by gel electrophoresis. The studies supported and extended the genetic findings and provided information on the distribution of particular plasmids.


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