Enterococcus faecalis K-4, which produces a class IIa bacteriocin, enterocin SE-K4, carries two plasmids, pEK4S (approximately 60 kb) and pEK4L (approximately 75 kb). Plasmid-curing experiments showed that pEK4S was involved in the production of and immunity to enterocin SE-K4 in strain K-4. A derivative strain, M6, with pEK4S produced a higher amount of enterocin SE-K4 than the parental strain K-4, although its growth rate was lower than that of parental strain K-4. Phenotypic changes in strain M6 are attributed to an increase in plasmid copy number.
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