An extrachromosomal prophage naturally associated with Bacillus thuringiensis serovar israelensis

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Bacillus thuringiensis serovar israelensis, an entomopathogen for mosquito larvae, was demonstrated to be lysogenized by temperate phage SU-11 whose genome was located extrachromosomally in the cell. The prophage SU-11 was cured at high frequency from the parental strain by continuous sub-culture at high temperature, but the ability to produce δ-endotoxin remained in the prophage cured strain. Moreover, phage induction was found to occur after mating of serovar israelensis with its prophage cured strain, as well as with B. thuringiensis serovar thuringiensis, B. cereus and B. subtilis.

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