Current Microbiology

, Volume 29, Issue 5, pp 279–286 | Cite as

Occurrence of plasmid DNA in the sepiolid squid symbiontVibrio fischeri

  • Katherine J. Boettcher
  • Edward G. Ruby


Because of the importance of plasmids in many bacterial associations with plants and animals, we determined the occurrence and distribution of plasmid DNA in symbioticVibrio fischeri from the light organ of the sepiolid squidEuprymna scolopes. Analyses of 225 isolates of symbioticV. fischeri from 25 individual squids revealed an overall plasmid-carriage rate of 56%. A large plasmid (≥39 kb) was detected in 96% of those isolates carrying plasmids, and multiple small plasmids were found to co-occur with one of the large plasmids in 81% of plasmid-carrying strains. In addition, these plasmids appear to be restricted toV. fischeri strains isolated fromE. scolopes and from seawater at sites of squid populations. We were unable to assign a role or function to these plasmids, but they do not carry genes required for the establishment of the light organ symbiosis. We conclude that the essential bacterial symbiotic determinants must be encoded on the chromosome and that the plasmids may carry genes that are important for the survival of theseV. fischeri strains outside of the symbiotic association.


Symbiotic Association Light Organ Large Plasmid Small Plasmid Bacterial Association 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag New York Inc. 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • Katherine J. Boettcher
    • 1
  • Edward G. Ruby
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Biological SciencesUniversity of Southern CaliforniaLos AngelesUSA

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