SUMMARY: In some nisin-producing strains of , clones which were permanently incapable of producing nisin (Nis) appeared spontaneously with a frequency of 0.03 to 0.82%. Treatment with proflavin (Pro), ethidium bromide (EB) or at a temperature of 40 °C increased the number of such clones. In one strain 78% of cells became Nis after treatment with Pro.

Treatment with nitrosoguanidine did not reverse the effect of Pro or EB. There was no evidence that Pro or EB selected spontaneously-occurring Nis clones.

These observations suggest that the gene(s) responsible for nisin production in some strains may be located on a plasmid, but further investigation is required to confirm this.


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