SUMMARY: We report here the formation of plasmid linear multimers promoted by the Red-system of phage lambda using a multicopy plasmid comprised of lambda redα, and β genes, under the control of the lambda 857 repressor. Our observations have revealed that the multimerization of plasmid is dependent on the β and genes, suggesting a concerted role for these functions in the formation of plasmid multimers. The formation of multimers occurred in a genetic background at a higher frequency than in the isogenic host cells. The multimers comprised tandem repeats of monomer plasmid DNA. Treatment of purified plasmid DNA with exonuclease III revealed the presence of free double-chain ends in the molecules. Determination of the size of multimeric DNA, by pulse field gel electrophoresis, revealed that the bulk of the DNA was in the range 50–240 kb, representing approximately 5–24 unit lengths of monomeric plasmid DNA. We provide a conceptual framework for Red-system-promoted formation and enhanced accumulation of plasmid linear multimers in mutants of


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