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We have an assembly of a genome of a Lactobacillus species. The genome also contains a 7.5kb plasmid.

Aside from the "usual plasmid genes" the plasmid contains: - toxin/antitoxin system - Subunit S of type I R/M system (No R or M subunit)

Now, to me this seems like an interesting case. It looks like the plasmid is "exploiting" the R/M system of the host (Bacterium seems to have type I R/M system indeed).

This could have the effect that the plasmid is increasing the fitness of the host (and itself) by making the R/M system more flexible in terms of target sequences by the R/M system (Phages, etc.).

My questions are now:

  • Does anyone know an example of such a case. Did not find any.
  • Do you think it works the way I suspect.
  • Could this be interesting for Biotech applications since phages in diary food environment are a problem.
  • How would you test if this plasmid has this effect?
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