R factor variants with enhanced sex factor activity in Pseudomonas aeruginosa
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The R factor R68 readily promotes chromosome transfer in Pseudomonas aeruginosa strain PAT, but shows little such sex factor activity in strain PAO. A variant of this plasmid, R68.45, has been isolated which produces recombinants in PAO plate matings at frequencies of 10-3–10-5 per donor cell for markers in the 0–60 min region of the chromosome. Little or no chromosome transfer was shown in liquid media. The kinetics of chromosome transfer were studied by interrupting matings on solid media with nalidixic acid. Five chromosomal markers, mapping in widely spaced regions of the chromosome all entered 3–5 min after initiation of mating. These results, combined with linkage studies, indicate that R68.45, unlike the Pseudomonas sex factors FP2 and FP39, promotes chromosome transfer from a range of origin sites and can thus be used for mapping the region of the P. aeruginosa chromosome later than 40 min.
R68.45 and other similar variants were isolated from rare chromosomal recombinants appearing in crosses between PAO(R68) donors and PAO recipients in which selection for argB+ was made. Selection for other chromosomal markers did not result in such variants suggesting that plasmids of the R68.45 type arise by recombination of genetic material between the R68 plasmid and certain regions of the bacterial chromosome.
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