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McrA and McrB restriction phenotypes of some E. coli strains and implications for gene cloning.

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The McrA and McrB (modified cytosine restriction) systems of E. coli interfere with incoming DNA containing methylcytosine. DNA from many organisms, including all mammalian and plant DNA, is expected to be sensitive, and this could interfere with cloning experiments. The McrA and B phenotypes of a few strains have been reported previously (1-4). The Mcr phenotypes of 94 strains, primarily derived from E. coli K12, are tabulated here. We briefly review some evidence suggesting that McrB restriction of mouse-modified DNA does occur in vivo and does in fact interfere with cloning of specific mouse sequences.

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