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Yersinia pestis strain KIM requires plasmid pCD1 for expression of the low calcium response, plague virulence antigen V, and virulence. We constructed Mu d1(Ap lac) insertion mutants of this plasmid which were unable to express the low calcium response. The insertions mapped to a 17-kilobase region of the plasmid. By determining the orientation of the insertions and examining beta-galactosidase production from the Mu d1 lac genes, we determined that this region contains three units of transcription, one of which is transcribed in a direction opposite the direction of transcription of the other two. Transcription of at least two of these units was induced significantly at 37 degrees C compared with 26 degrees C. Ca2+ (2.5 mM) and ATP (18 mM) had no significant effect on the level of expression of the Mu d1 lac genes of these mutants. All insertions in the region strongly reduced production of the V antigen. Insertions from each unit of transcription also reduced virulence in mice.