© 2014 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
Streptomyces rochei 7434AN4 carries three linear plasmids, pSLA2-L (211 kb), pSLA2-M (113 kb) and pSLA2-S (18 kb), their complete nucleotide sequences having been determined. Restriction and sequencing analysis revealed that the telomere sequences at both ends of the linear chromosome are identical to each other, are 98.5% identical to the right end sequences of pSLA2-L and pSLA2-M up to 3.1 kb from the ends and have homology to those of typical Streptomyces species. Mutant 2-39, which lost all the three linear plasmids, was found to carry a circularized chromosome. Sequence comparison of the fusion junction and both deletion ends revealed that chromosomal circularization occurred by terminal deletions followed by nonhomologous recombination. Curing of pSLA2-L from strain 51252, which carries only pSLA2-L, also resulted in terminal deletions in newly obtained mutants. The tap-tpg gene pair, which encodes a telomere-associated protein and a terminal protein for end patching, is located on pSLA2-L and pSLA2-M but has not hitherto been found on the chromosome. These results led us to the idea that the tap-tpg of pSLA2-L or pSLA2-M functions to maintain a linear chromosome in strain 7434AN4. This hypothesis was finally confirmed by complementation and curing experiments of the tap-tpg of pSLA2-M.