Autonomously replicating sequence (ARS) elements are the genetic determinants of replication origin function in yeasts. They can be easily identified as the plasmids containing them transform yeast cells at a high frequency. As the first step towards identifying all potential replication origins in a 73-kb region of the long arm of fission yeast chromosome II, we have mapped five new ARS elements using systematic subcloning and transformation assay. 2D analysis of one of the ARS plasmids that showed highest transformation frequency localized the replication origin activity within the cloned genomic DNA. All the new ARS elements are localized in two clusters in centromere proximal 40 kb of the region. The presence of at least six ARS elements, including the previously reported ars727, is suggestive of a higher origin density in this region than that predicted earlier using a computer based search.
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