DNA/Replication origins

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The genetic element responsible for the replication of plasmids during cell growth and division is called a replication origin (also "origin of replication" or simply "origin"). There are several different replication origins and they differ in their plasmid copy number per cell (how many molecules of the plasmid are maintained in the cell), mechanism of copy number control, cell-to-cell copy number variation, and even the degree of coiling of the physical DNA. Thus, BioBrick® parts, devices and systems can operate very differently from one plasmid backbone to another.

Several replication origins have been designed in the Registry. Although most of them are not available as individual BioBrick parts, some can be obtained by PCR of existing plasmid backbones in the Registry using appropriate primers. In fact, when making new BioBrick vectors using the BioBrick base vector, Reshma simply assembled a PCR-amplified linear DNA encoding the replication origins with the antibiotic resistance markers. (The PCR primers included the BioBrick prefix and suffix so that the linear DNA encoding the origin was ready for digestion with EcoRI and SpeI.

BBa_I50000F plasmid backbone with BioBrick sites removed.    4640
BBa_I50001F plasmid backbone with BioBrick sites removed, reverse   4640
BBa_I50022Minimal pUC19-derived high copy replication origin   674
BBa_I50030pBR322 replication origin   2016
BBa_I50032p15A replication origin   1554
BBa_I50040nonfunctional pSC101 origin of replication   2226
BBa_I50041pSC101 origin of replication, reverse   2037
BBa_I50042pSC101 origin of replication   2037
BBa_I50050R6K replication origin   312
BBa_I50052pSC101 temperature sensitive origin of replication    2037
BBa_J61001[R6K] Origin of replication   406
BBa_K112125OriV origin of replication   646
BBa_K125020lac promoter/rbs/rep/oriV/lac promoter/rbs/aadA/oriT   4841
BBa_K125340Origin of Vegetative Replication   424
BBa_K320000Asaia replication origin   1391
BBa_K320004Origin for Asaia and resistance to Kanamycin    2374
BBa_K524203pSC101 heat sensitive origin of replication with deletion in par locus   1941
BBa_K533000p15A replication origin relaxed, high copy number 914
BBa_K864050pSC101 low copy origin of replication   2216
BBa_K864051pSC101ts temperature sensitive low copy origin of replication   2216



  1. Chang-JBacteriol-1978 pmid=149110
  2. Cohen-JBacteriol-1977 pmid=334752
  3. Bolivar-Gene-1977 pmid=344137
  4. Bazaral-J-Mol-Biol-1968 pmid=4939624
  5. Hershfield-Proc-Natl-Acad-Sci-USA-1974 pmid=4610576