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J Bacteriol. Mar 1980; 141(3): 1366–1374.
PMCID: PMC293835

Properties of erythromycin-inducible transposon Tn917 in Streptococcus faecalis.


Streptococcus faecalis strain DS16 harbors two plasmids, a conjugative plasmid, pAD1, which encodes hemolysin and bacteriocin activities, and a nonconjugative plasmid, pAD2, encoding resistance to streptomycin, kanamycin, and erythromycin, the latter of which is inducible. The erythromycin resistance determinant is located on a 3.3-megadalton transposable element designated Tn917, which could be transposed to pAD1 as well as to two other plasmids, pAm gamma 1 and pAM alpha 1. When strain DS16 was exposed to low (inducing) concentrations of erythromycin for a few hours, the frequency of Tn917 transposition from pAD2 to pAD1 increased by an order of magnitude. This induction paralleled induction of erythromycin resistance and was prevented by exposing the cells to inhibitors of deoxyribonucleic acid, ribonucleic acid or protein synthesis. The exposure of strain DS16 to inducing concentrations of erythromycin also enhanced the frequency of erythromycin-resistant transconjugants appearing during mating. Initially, cointegrate molecules, whose molecular weights were approximately the sum of pAD1 and pAD2, accounted for these transconjugants; however, as the induction time increased, pAD1::Tn917 became increasingly prominent.

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Selected References

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