A 3·2 kb region of the broad host range IncP plasmid RK2 (indistinguishable from RP1, RP4, R68 and R18) anticlockwise from the site may be separated phenotypically into three loci. The locus both complements a temperature-sensitive maintenance mutation and suppresses the deleterious effects of the loci and ; the locus expresses incompatibility towards complete RK2-like replicons, and the locus suppresses the host lethal effect of the locus. Transcriptional fusions of the gene to various segments of this region revealed that all three loci are transcribed anticlockwise from a common promoter. A weak secondary promoter may also contribute to the expression of Analysis of the sizes of the polypeptides produced from these segments led to the identification of two cistrons, the first encoding a polypeptide of 38 kDal associated with function and the second a polypeptide of 49 kDal associated with activity. The activities are associated with a polypeptide of 14 kDal which may be an N-terminal fragment of the -associated polypeptide.


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