Multicopy dnaA(Ts) strains carrying the dnaA5 or dnaA46 allele are high‐temperature resistant but are cold sensitive for colony formation. The DnaA5 and DnaA46 proteins both have an A184→V change in the ATP binding motif of the protein, but they also have one additional mutation. The mutations were separated, and it was found that a plasmid carrying exclusively the A184→V mutation conferred a phenotype virtually identical to that of the dnaA5 plasmid. Strains carrying plasmids with either of the additional mutations behaved like a strain carrying the dnaA+ plasmid. In temperature downshifts from 42°C to 30°C, chromosome replication was stimulated in the multicopy dnaA46 strain. The DNA per mass ratio increased threefold, and exponential growth was maintained for more than four mass doublings. Strains carrying plasmids with the dnaA(A184→V) or the dnaA5 gene behaved differently. The temperature downshift resulted in run out of DNA synthesis and the strains eventually ceased growth. The arrest of DNA synthesis was not due to the inability to initiate chromosome replication because marker frequency analysis showed high initiation activity after temperature downshift. However, the marker frequencies indicated that most, if not all, of the newly initiated replication forks were stalled soon after the onset of chromosome replication. Thus, it appears that the multicopy dnaA(A184→V) strains are cold sensitive because of an inability to elongate replication at low temperature. The multicopy dnaA46 strains, on the contrary, exhibit productive initiation and normal fork movement. In this case, the cold‐sensitive phenotype may be due to DNA overproduction.
M. Nyborg, T. Atlung, O. Skovgaard