Horizontal Gene Transfer Among Bacteria in Aquatic Systems: Effects of Nutrient Concentrations

  • Robert E. Hodson
  • Patricia A. Sobecky
  • Mary Ann Moran


A wide range of bacterial metabolic capabilities, such as resistance to many antibiotics and utilization of novel carbon and energy sources, are carried on plasmids, many of which are transmissible among bacteria. Under laboratory conditions, such transfer has been demonstrated to occur among diverse groups of bacteria (Reanney et al., 1982). However, the frequency and importance of such genetic exchange in natural aquatic systems is, as yet, unclear.


Inorganic Nutrient Organic Nutrient Luria Broth Plasmid Transfer Natural Aquatic System 
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.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Atlas, R.M., and Bartha, R. (1981). Microbial Ecology; Fundamentals and Applications Addison-Wesley, MA.Google Scholar
  2. Altherr, M.R. and Kasweck, K.L. (1982). In situ studies with membrane diffusion chambers of antibiotic resistance transfer in Escherichia coli. Appl. Environ. Microbiol., 44, 838–843.Google Scholar
  3. Bale, M.J., Fry, J.C., and Day, M.J. (1987). Plasmid transfer between strains of Pseudomonas aeruginosa on membrane filters attached to river stones. J. Gen. Microbiol. 133, 3099–3107.Google Scholar
  4. Bradley, D.E. (1980). Conjugative pili of plasmids in Escherichia coli K-12 and Pseudomonas species, In: Molecular Biology, Pathogenicity and Ecology of Bacterial Plasmids pp. 217–226 ( S.B. Levy, R.C. Clowes, and E.L. Koenig, eds.), Plenum Press, NY.Google Scholar
  5. Gowland, P., and Slater, J. H. (1984). Transfer of plasmids Pbr322 and Pbr325 in wastewater from laboratory strains of Escherichia coli to bacteria indigenous to the waste disposal system. Appl. Environ. Microbiol., 49, 836–841.Google Scholar
  6. Gowland, P., and Slater, J. H. (1984). Capacity of aquatic bacteria to act as recipients of plasmid DNA. Appl. Environ. Microbiol., 54, 115–117.Google Scholar
  7. Gowland, P., and Slater, J. H. (1984). Transfer and stability of drug resistance plasmids in Escherichia coli K12. Microb. Ecol., 10, 1–13.Google Scholar
  8. Grabow, W.O.K., Prozesky, O.W., and Burger, J.S. (1975). Behaviour in a river and dam of coliform bacteria with transferable or non-transferable drug resistance. Water Res., 9, 777–782.Google Scholar
  9. Mach, P.A., and Grimes, J.D. (1982). R-plasmid transfer in wastewater treatment plant. Appl. Environ. Microbiol., 44, 1395–1403.Google Scholar
  10. O’Morchoe, S.B., Ogunseitan, O., Sayler, G.S., and Miller, R.V. (1988). Conjugal transfer of R68.45 and FP5 between Pseudomonas aeruginosa strains in a freshwater environment. Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 54, 1923–1929.Google Scholar
  11. Reanney, D.C., Roberts, W.P., and Kelly, W.J. (1982). Genetic interactions among microbial communities, In: Microbial Interactions and Communities pp. 287–322 ( A.T. Bull, and J.H. Slater, eds.), Academic Press, NY.Google Scholar
  12. Reanney D.C., Gowland, P.C., and Slater J.H. (1983). Genetic interactions among microbial communities. In: Microbes in Their Natural Environments pp. 379–421. ( J.H. Slater, R. Whittenbury, and J.W.T. Wimpenny, eds.), Cambridge University Press, NY.Google Scholar
  13. Schilf, W., and Klingmuller, W. (1983). Experiments with Escherichia coli on the dispersal of plasmids in the environment. Recomb. DNA Technol. Bull., 6, 101–102.Google Scholar
  14. Trevors, J.T., Barkay, T., and Bourquin, A.W. (1987). Gene transfer among bacteria in soil and aquatic environments: a review. Can. J. Microbiol. 33, 191–198.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • Robert E. Hodson
    • 1
  • Patricia A. Sobecky
    • 1
  • Mary Ann Moran
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Microbiology and Institute of EcologyUniversity of GeorgiaAthensUSA

Personalised recommendations