SUMMARY: The stability of a low-copy-number plasmid, pHSG415, in , was investigated in batch and continuous culture. The plasmid was unstable in batch culture, but was significantly stabilized by growth in continuous culture with phosphate, nitrogen or potassium limitation. However, the plasmid was very unstable when grown in continuous culture with sulphate limitation. These results contrast with those obtained with multicopy plasmids such as pBR322, which is particularly unstable in carbon- or phosphate-limited continuous culture. The effect of growth rate on the stability of (pHSG415) grown in continuous culture with glucose limitation was also investigated. The plasmid was significantly more stable in cells grown at higher growth rates. The segregational instability () of the plasmid and the difference in growth rate between plasmid-free and plasmid-bearing cells (μ) were calculated for each condition using the method of Cooper (accompanying paper: , 1871-1880). It was found that the primary cause of the loss of pHSG415 from the cell population was the segregational instability of the plasmid.


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