Segregation of Transferable R Factors into Escherichia coli Minicells

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IT is difficult to isolate the DNA of Escherichia coli episomes because its physical and biological properties are similar to those of the bacterial chromosome. We have solved this problem by isolating the R factor in minicells, tiny DNA-less cells resulting from abnormal cell division of an E. coli mutant1. Minicells have been used as recipients for DNA transfer from normal cells2, but in general, except with F factor alone, the transferred DNA remains as a non-replicating single strand2.

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