The presence of the IncJ plasmids R391, R997, R705, R706, R748 and R749 was shown to sensitize Escherichia coli AB1157 and both its uvrA and ZexA derivatives to UV irradiation. No alteration in post-irradiation survival was observed in a recA mutant containing these plasmids, compared with the non-plasmid-containing recA strain. Analysis of recombination frequency in Hfr crosses to recAcells containing plasmid R391 indicated a reduction in recombination frequency compared with that obtained in similar crosses to a non-plasmid-containing strain. This effect was not due to plasmid-encoded restriction or entry exclusion systems and therefore must be considered as a real block in recombination. When cells containing plasmid R391 were irradiated and allowed to photoreactivate, an increase in survival was observed which was comparable to that observed in the non-plasmid-containing derivative. This indicated that postirradiation processing of UV-induced damage, or lack of such processing, by mechanisms other than photoreactivation was responsible for the UV sensitivity associated with plasmid R391.


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