A survey of colicins in the ECOR reference collection of is presented. Twenty-five of the 72 ECOR strains exhibited a phenotype consistent with colicin production and isolated from human hosts were more likely to be colicinogenic than those from animal hosts. Multiple representatives of two Col plasmids, lowmolecular-mass ColE1 plasmids and high-molecular-mass, conjugative ColIa plasmids were isolated from the ECOR collection and were examined with a combination of restriction fragment and Southern analysis. These data suggested that ColE1 plasmids comprise a stable (cohesive) plasmid lineage, while ColIa plasmids represent a family of distinct plasmid lineages united by the presence of the colicin Ia operon.


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