Plasmid stability analysis based on a new theoretical model employing stochastic simulations

Olesia Werbowy , Sławomir Werbowy , Tadeusz Kaczorowski


Here, we present a simple theoretical model to study plasmid stability, based on one input parameter which is the copy number of plasmids present in a host cell. The Monte Carlo approach was used to analyze random fluctuations affecting plasmid replication and segregation leading to gradual reduction in the plasmid population within the host cell. This model was employed to investigate maintenance of pEC156 derivatives, a high-copy number ColE1-type Escherichia coli plasmid that carries an EcoVIII restriction-modification system. Plasmid stability was examined in selected Escherichia coli strains (MG1655, wild-type; MG1655 pcnB, and hyper-recombinogenic JC8679 sbcA). We have compared the experimental data concerning plasmid maintenance with the simulations and found that the theoretical stability patterns exhibited an excellent agreement with those empirically tested. In our simulations, we have investigated the influence of replication fails (α parameter) and uneven partition as a consequence of multimer resolution fails (δ parameter), and the post-segregation killing factor (β parameter). All of these factors act at the same time and affect plasmid inheritance at different levels. In case of pEC156-derivatives we concluded that multimerization is a major determinant of plasmid stability. Our data indicate that even small changes in the fidelity of segregation can have serious effects on plasmid stability. Use of the proposed mathematical model can provide a valuable description of plasmid maintenance, as well as enable prediction of the probability of the plasmid loss.
Author Olesia Werbowy KM
Olesia Werbowy,,
- Department of Microbiology
, Sławomir Werbowy IFD
Sławomir Werbowy,,
- Institute of Experimental Physics
, Tadeusz Kaczorowski KM
Tadeusz Kaczorowski,,
- Department of Microbiology
Other language title versions
Journal seriesPlos One, ISSN 1932-6203
Issue year2017
Publication size in sheets1
Keywords in EnglishMonte Carlo method, postsegregational cell killing, plasmid persistence, restriction-modification system, plasmid multimerization, plasmid copy number
Languageen angielski
LicenseJournal (articles only); published final; Uznanie Autorstwa (CC-BY); with publication
Score (nominal)40
ScoreMinisterial score = 35.0, 20-12-2017, ArticleFromJournal
Ministerial score (2013-2016) = 40.0, 20-12-2017, ArticleFromJournal
Publication indicators WoS Impact Factor: 2016 = 2.806 (2) - 2016=3.394 (5)
Citation count*0
Share Share

* presented citation count is obtained through Internet information analysis and it is close to the number calculated by the Publish or Perish system.