Mutant strains selected as survivors of the lethal overexpression of a plasmid-encoded bovine somatotropin-beta-galactosidase fusion protein were found to include instances where an IS10 element had transposed from the chromosome into the fusion protein structural gene on the plasmid. Two distinct types of IS10 elements were found in these mutants, the well-known IS10R and a novel hybrid element composed of portions of both IS10R and IS10L. The strain in which the selection scheme was carried out had been constructed in a series of steps, including alteration of two loci by Tn10-mediated intramolecular transposition involving fusaric acid (FA) selection for loss of tetracycline resistance. Genetic dissection of this strain revealed that one of these altered loci was an origin for both types of IS10 elements, while the other locus was an origin for only IS10R elements. The finding that residual IS10 elements, left after FA selection for Tcs derivatives of Tn10-containing strains, can be a significant source of spontaneous mutation should be of interest to workers using strains that have been 'cured' of Tn10 in this way.
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