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Plasmid. 1992 Nov;28(3):213-24.

Tetracycline enhances Tn916-mediated conjugal transfer.

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  • 1Department of Microbiology, Immunology, and Preventive Medicine Iowa State University, Ames 50011.


Pregrowth of the donor on medium containing tetracycline increased conjugative transposition of Tn916 and the transposon-dependent mobilization of pC194 19- to 119-fold in matings between Bacillus subtilis and Bacillus thuringiensis subsp. israelensis. Tn916 and pC194 transferred independently under these conditions. When Enterococcus faecalis was the donor and B. thuringiensis subsp. israelensis the recipient, pregrowth in tetracycline increased the conjugative transposition frequency by approximately 15-fold. Tetracycline-enhanced conjugation appeared during matings as short as 3 h in length. Pregrowth in tetracycline did not enhance conjugation in Bacillus sphaericus x B. thuringiensis subsp. israelensis or B. thuringiensis subsp. israelensis x B. subtilis matings. Incorporation of tetracycline into the mating medium, at concentrations that did not inhibit growth of the B. thuringiensis subsp. israelensis recipient, resulted in conjugation frequencies similar to those obtained by pregrowth of the B. subtilis donors in antibiotic-containing medium. The data suggest stimulation of donor function by tetracycline.

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