Laboratoire de Mutagénèse, Institut Jacques Monod, Paris, France.
To get more insight into the control of homologous recombination between diverged DNA by the Mut proteins of the long-patch mismatch repair system, we have studied interspecies Escherichia coli/Salmonella typhimurium recombination. Knowing that the same recombination pathway (RecABCD) is responsible for intraspecies and interspecies recombination, we have now studied the structure (replacement vs. addition-type or other rearrangement-type recombinants) of 81 interspecies recombinants obtained in conjugational crosses between E. coli donor and mutL, mutS, mutH, mutU or mut+ S. typhimurium recipients. Taking advantage of high interspecies sequence divergence, a physical analysis was performed on one third of the E. coli Hfr genome, which was expected to be transferred to S. typhimurium F- recipients during 40 min before interruption of the mating. Probes specific for each species were hybridized on dot blots of genomic DNA, or on colonies, and the composition of the rrn operons was determined from purified genomic DNA. With very few exceptions, the structure of these interspecies recombinants corresponds to replacements of one continuous block of the recipient genome by the corresponding region of the donor genome.