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Structure of Caulobacter deoxyribonucleic acid.

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  • Research Article


The deoxyribonucleic acid of the dimorphic bacterium Caulobacter crescentus contains a component that renatures with rapid, unimolecular kinetics. This component was present in both swarmer and stalked cells and exhibited the sensitivity to endonuclease S1 expected for hairpin loops. Double-stranded side branches between 100 and 600 nucleotide pairs in length were visible in electron micrographs of rapidly reassociating deoxyribonucleic acid isolated by hydroxyapatite chromatography. No extrachromosomal elements were found in spite of systematic attempts to detect their presence. These results indicate that the rapidly reassociating fraction derives from inverted repeat sequences within the chromosome and not from cross-links or plasmids. We estimate that there are approximately 350 inverted repeat regions per Caulobacter genome. The kinetic complexity of Caulobacter deoxyribonucleic acid, however, is no greater than that of other bacteria.

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