A fragment of DNA which functions as an autonomous replication sequence in yeast was cloned from Cephalosporium acremonium. Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) was isolated from an industrial strain of C. acremonium (08G-250-21) highly developed for the production of the antibiotic, cephalosporin C. Size, 27 kb, and restriction pattern indicated this DNA was identical to mtDNA previously isolated (Minuth et al. 1982) from an ancestral strain (ATTC 14553) which produces very low amounts of cephalosporin C. A 1.9 kb Pst1 fragment of the Cephalosporium mtDNA was inserted into a Pst1 site of the yeast integrative plasmid, Ylp5, to produce a 7.5 kb plasmid, designated pPS1. The structure of pPS1 was verified by restriction analysis and hybridization.
PS1 transformed Saccharomyces cerevisiae (DBY-746) to uracil prototrophy at a frequency of 272 transformants/μg DNA. Transformation frequencies of 715 transformants/μg DNA and zero were obtained for the replicative plasmid, YRp7, and the integrative plasmid YIp5, respectively. Southern hybridization and transformation of E. coli by DNA from yeast transformed by pPS1 verified that pPS1 replicates autonomously in yeast.
The uracil-independent pPS1-yeast transformants were mitotically unstable. The average retention of pPS1 after three days growth in selective and non-selective medium was 4.5% and 0.4%, respectively, compared to retentions of 4.6% and 0.5% for YRp7. The properties of pPS1 were compared to those of a related plasmid, pCP2. pCP2 was constructed (Tudzynski et al. 1982) by inserting the C. acremonium 1.9 kb Pst1 fragment into the yeast integrative plasmid, pDAM1.