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Eur J Clin Microbiol Infect Dis. 1992 Nov;11(11):1032-8.

Chromosomal gene transfer elements of the Bacteroides group.

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  • 1Department of Microbiology, University of Illinois, Urbana 61801.

Abstract

Many human colonic Bacteroides strains carry large ( > 60 kbp) chromosomal elements that can transfer themselves from the chromosome of the donor to the chromosome of the recipient. Most of these elements carry a tetracycline resistance gene (tetQ) and many also carry an erythromycin resistance gene (ermF), but at least one cryptic member of the family has been identified. Molecular analysis of excision and integration events has shown that the self-transmissible Bacteroides elements are not transposons but may represent a new class of integrating elements. The Bacteroides elements are most similar to the streptococcal conjugative transposons, such as Tn916. The Bacteroides Tcr/TcrEmr elements can mobilize DNA that is not contained within the elements themselves. They not only mobilize co-resident plasmids but also cause the excision, circularization and mobilization of discrete unlinked 10-11 kbp segments of chromosomal DNA. Self-transfer and other activities of the Tcr/TcrEmr elements are regulated by tetracycline. Thus, tetracycline not only selects for acquisition of an element but also stimulates element transfer in the first place.

PMID:
1338314
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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