SUMMARY: The effect of a mutation at , which alters the bacterial membrane, on plasmid stability was studied. F- residing in the mutant was remarkably unstable in the presence of acridine dyes or at high temperature (42°C) as compared with wild-type ( ) strains. Following suppression or back-mutation to acridine resistance, cells became capable of stably hosting the plasmid in the presence of acridine. Lipophilic substances, such as phenethyl alcohol and sodium dodecylsulphate, enhanced the curing-action of acridine in the F/ strain. Certain fatty acids promoted curing of the mutant bacteria in the absence of acridines. It is suggested that the stability of F- may depend on some feature of the plasma membrane.


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