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Escherichia coli K317, formerly used to define colicin group E2, produces colicin E7, is immune to colicin E2, and carries a bacteriophage-restricting conjugative plasmid.

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Abstract

Escherichia coli strain CL137, a K-12 derivative made E colicinogenic by contact with Fredericq's strain K317, was unaffected by colicin E2-P9, but K-12 carrying ColE2-P9 was sensitive to the E colicin made by strains CL137 and K317. This colicin we named E7-K317 because by the test of colicinogenic immunity it differed from colicins E1-K30, E2-P9, and E3-CA38 and from recently recognized colicins termed E4Horak, E5, and E6. Strain K317 as conjugational donor transmitted E7 colicinogeny; about half the E7-colicinogenic transconjugants were immune to colicin E2-P9. A spontaneous variant of CL137 retained E7 colicinogeny but was sensitive to E2 colicins. We attribute the E2 immunity of strain CL137 and some E7-coliconogeic transconjugants to a "colicin-immunity plasmid," ColE2imm-K317, from strain K317. Tra+ E7-colicinogenic transconjugants restricted phage BF23 in the same way as strains carrying ColIb-P9. We attribute Tra+ and restricting ability to a plasmid, pRES-K317, acquired from strain K317, and related to the ColI plasmids.

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