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J Bacteriol. Dec 1970; 104(3): 1158–1167.
PMCID: PMC248273

Transduction of Methicillin Resistance in Staphylococcus aureus Dependent on an Unusual Specificity of the Recipient Strain

Abstract

Resistance to methicillin was transduced by phage 80 or 53 from two naturally occurring methicillin-resistant strains of Staphylococcus aureus to methicillin-susceptible recipient strains at frequencies of 10−7 to 10−9. Ultraviolet irradiation of transducing phage and posttransductional incubation at 30 C were essential for useful frequencies of transduction. Effectiveness as a recipient for this transduction was highly specific. Strain NCTC 8325 (PS47) in its native state was an ineffective recipient but became effective after it had received by transduction one of several penicillinase plasmids. This acquired effectiveness was retained in most cases after elimination of the plasmid by ethidium bromide treatment. Like the donor strain, the progeny were heterogeneous in the degree of their resistance to methicillin, which was expressed by a higher proportion of cells as the temperature of incubation was lowered from 37 to 30 C. Separate transductants varied widely in the degree of resistance acquired by transduction. Methicillin resistance was stable in the donor and transductant strains. We favored the interpretation that methicillin resistance in our strains was determined by a single chromosomal gene, although the possibility that it was determined by two or more closely linked genes could not be excluded.

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Selected References

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