Summary: The replicator region of the symbiotic plasmid of CFN42 was cloned and sequenced. A plasmid derivative (pH3) harbouring a 5.6 kb dIII fragment from the symbiotic plasmid was found to be capable of independent replication and eliminated the symbiotic plasmid when introduced into a CFNX101 strain ( derivative). The stability and the copy number of pH3 were the same as that of the symbiotic plasmid, indicating that the information required for stable replication and incompatibility resides in the 5.6 kb dIII fragment. The sequence analysis of this fragment showed the presence of three ORFs similar in sequence and organization to and described for the replicator regions of the plasmids pTiB6S3 and pRiA4b and for the cryptic plasmid pRL8JI. Hybridization studies showed that p42d-like replicator sequences are found in the symbiotic plasmids of other strains and in a ‘cryptic’ plasmid of


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