The linear plasmid pPZG101 of R6 was restriction mapped with the enzymes l, l, l and l. It is 387 kb in size and the ends are inverted repeats of at least 95 kb in length. Twenty spontaneous morphological variants and seventeen auxotrophic mutants were screened for changes in the plasmid. Two strains were found that had lost all plasmid sequences. Four strains had integrated parts of the plasmid into the chromosome. Restriction analysis suggested that at least three of the integrated strains had retained free plasmid ends. If it is assumed that the chromosome of R6 is linear, this might be explained by replacement of one or both chromosome ends by a plasmid end. One strain, which overproduced oxytetracycline, carried an enlarged linear plasmid of 1 Mb in size that had acquired chromosomal sequences from the oxytetracycline biosynthesis cluster.


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