, Volume 203, Issue 3, pp 511-519

IS21 insertion in the trfA replication control gene of chromosomally integrated plasmid RP1: a property of stable Pseudomonas aeruginosa Hfr strains

Rent the article at a discount

Rent now

* Final gross prices may vary according to local VAT.

Get Access

Summary

Broad host range IncP-1 plasmids are able to integrate into the chromosome of gram-negative bacteria. Strains carrying an integrated plasmid can be obtained when the markers of a temperature-sensitive (ts) plasmid derivative are selected at non-permissive temperature; in this way Hfr (high frequency) donor strains can be formed. The integrated plasmids, however, tend to be unstable in the absence of continuous selective pressure. In order to obtain stable Hfr donor strains of Pseudomonas aeruginosa PAO, we constructed a derivative of an RP1 (ts) plasmid, pME134, which was defective in the resolvase gene (tnpR) of transposon Tn801. Chromosomal integration of pME134 was selected in a recombination-deficient (rec-102) PAO strain at 43°C. Plasmid integration occurred at different sites resulting in a useful set of Hfr strains that transferred chromosomal markers unidirectionally. The tnpR and rec-102 mutations prevented plasmid excision from the chromosome. In several (but not all) Hfr strains that grew well and retained the integrated plasmid at temperatures below 43°C, the insertion element IS21 of RP1 was found to be inserted into the trfA locus (specifying an essential trans-acting replication funtion) of the integrated plasmid. One such Hfr strain was rendered rec +; from its chromosome the pME134::IS21 plasmid (=pME14) was excised and transferred by conjugation to Escherichia coli where pME14 could replicate autonomously only when a helper plasmid provided the trfA + function in trans. Thus, it appears that trfA inactivation favours the stability of chromosomally integrated RP1 in P. aeruginosa.

Communicated by W. Arber