[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A cryptic plasmid from Bacillus sphaericus strain LP1-G, designated as pLG, was sequenced and characterized. It was an 11,066bp circular molecule, with G+C content of 37%. The plasmid pLG was predicted to encode 23 putative ORFs, and ORF 21 shared the highest identity with Rep of pGI1 and pBMB9741, members of rolling-circle replication (RCR) pC194-family. Sequence analysis revealed a pC194-type double strand origin (dso) and a single strand origin (sso) like sequence located upstream and downstream of ORF 21, respectively. Moreover, Mung bean nuclease analysis and Southern hybridization confirmed the existence of single stranded DNA (ssDNA) intermediates, indicating that pLG belongs to the RCR pC194-family. Accumulation of multiple ssDNA intermediates in native strain LP1-G and decline of ssDNA and supercoiled DNA in rifampicin-treated strain implied that a special mechanism might be employed by pLG. Furthermore, the copy number of pLG in its original host was determined and about 58 copies of the plasmid exist in each cell. Subcloning and transformation experiments proved that the minimal replicon of pLG was within a 1.6-kb fragment, which was composed of rep gene and dso. These data are a good basis for the understanding of replication mechanisms and genetics of this B. sphaericus plasmid.