We have used two-dimensional neutral/alkaline agarose gel electrophoresis to separate the nascent strands of replicating yeast 2 micron plasmid DNA molecules according to extent of replication, away from nonreplicating molecules and parental strands. Analysis of the lengths of nascent strands by sequential hybridization with short probes shows that replication proceeds bidirectionally from a single origin at map position 3700 +/- 100, coincident with the genetically mapped ARS element. The two recombinational isomers of 2 microns plasmid (forms A and B) replicate with equal efficiency. These results suggest that ARS elements may prove to be replication origins for chromosomal DNA.
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