SUMMARY: The haemolytic plasmid pSU316 is incompatible with members of the IncFIII and IncFIV incompatibility groups. Plasmid pSU307 (pSU316 :: Tn) was inserted by integrative suppression into the chromosome of JW112, a temperature-sensitive mutant of Escherichia coli. The incompatibility properties of this strain (SU51) were studied and it was found that: (1) plasmid pSU306 (pSU316 :: Tn) was rapidly lost from strain SU51 both at 30°C and 42°C; (2) the IncFIII plasmid pSU397 (ColB-K98 :: Tn) was lost from strain SU51 at 42°C but not at 30°C; and (3) the IncFIV plasmid R124 was stably maintained in strain SU51 at both temperatures. Revertants of pSU307 to the autonomous state could be obtained from SU51. These revertants exerted incompatibility towards the prototype plasmids pSU306, pSU397 and R124 in the same way as pSU307 itself. Thus, strain SU51 provided a suitable method for distinguishing the three different incompatibility determinants of plasmid pSU316.


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