Archives of Microbiology

, Volume 152, Issue 6, pp 520–526 | Cite as

Detection and characterization of natural transformation in the marine bacterium Pseudomonas stutzeri strain ZoBell

  • Gregory J. Stewart
  • Christopher D. Sinigalliano
Original Papers


Soil isolates of Pseudomonas stutzeri have been shown previously to acquire genes by natural transformation. In this study a marine isolate, Pseudomonas stutzeri strain ZoBell, formerly Pseudomonas perfectomarina, was also shown to transform naturally. Transformation was detected by the Juni plate method and frequencies of transformation were determined by filter transformation procedures. Maximum frequencies of transformation were detected for three independent antibiotic resistance loci. Transformation frequencies were on the order of 4×10-5 transformants per recipient, a frequency over 100 times that of spontancous antibiotic resistance. Transfer of antibiotic resistance was inhibited by DNase I digestion. Marine isolates achieved maximum competence 14 h after transfer of exponential cultures to filters on solid media, although lower levels of competence were detected immediately following filter immobilization. Like soil isolates, P. stutzeri strain ZoBell is capable of cell contact transformation, but unlike soil isolates where transformation frequencies are greater for cell contact transformation as compared to transformation with purified DNA, the maximum frequency of transformation achieved by cell contact in the marine strain was approximately 10-fold less than transformation frequencies with purified DNA. These studies establish the first marine model for the study of natural transformation.

Key words

Natural transformation Pseudomonas stutzeri Marine bacteria Genetically-engineered micro-organisms Gene transfer 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gregory J. Stewart
    • 1
  • Christopher D. Sinigalliano
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of BiologyUniversity of South FloridaTampaUSA

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