, Volume 182, Issue 2, pp 240-244

Isolation of an Hfr donor of Pseudomonas aeruginosa PAO by insertion of the plasmid RP1 into the tryptophan synthase gene

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A derivative of the IncP-1 plasmid RP1, temperature-sensitive for maintenance, was inserted into the Pseudomonas aeruginosa chromosome by selection for a plasmid marker (carbenicillin resistance) at nonppermissive temperature. In one strain, PAO 1000, the plasmid was stably integrated in the trpA, B gene cluster mapped at 27 min, as shown by the following evidence. (i) Trp+ transductants lost all plasmid markers. (ii) Cleared lysates of PAO 1000 showed no plasmid band typical of the autonomous RP1 in agarose gel electrophoresis. (iii) No transfer of carbenicillin resistance by PAO 1000 was detectable. (iv) PAO 1000 mobilised the chromosome from an origin at, or very near, the plasmid insertion site with high frequency (recovery of proximal markers ≧10−3 per donor). Matings on the plate with and without interruption of conjugation showed that chromosome transfer was unidirectional. (v) Recombinants from PAO 1000-mediated crosses did not inherit plasmid markers or the trpA, B mutation. A derivative of PAO 1000 was obtained which had lost the Hfr property and all plasmid markers except carbenicillin resistance. This strain (PAO 1001), when carrying the autonomous RP1 plasmid, was capable of unidirectional chromosome mobilisation like PAO 1000, but with 50-fold lower efficiency. We propose that integration of the temperature-sensitive RP1 plasmid in PAO 1000 occurred via transposition of Tnl, the element specifying carbenicillin resistance.

Communicated by W. Arber