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Appl Environ Microbiol. 1995 Sep;61(9):3359-66.

A Continuous Culture Model To Examine Factors That Affect Transduction among Pseudomonas aeruginosa Strains in Freshwater Environments.


Transduction among Pseudomonas aeruginosa strains was observed in continuous cultures operated under environmentally relevant generation times, cell densities, and phage-to-bacterium ratios, suggesting its importance as a natural mechanism of gene transfer. Transduction was quantified by the transfer of the Tra(sup-) Mob(sup-) plasmid Rms149 from a plasmid-bearing strain to an F116 lysogen that served as both the recipient and source of transducing phages. In control experiments in which transduction was prevented, there was a reduction in the phenotype of the mock transductant over time. However, in experiments in which transduction was permitted, the proportion of transductants in the population increased over time. These data suggest that transduction can maintain a phenotype for an extended period of time in a population from which it would otherwise be lost. Changes in the numbers of transductants were analyzed by a two-part mathematical model, which consisted of terms for the selection of the transductant's phenotype and for the formation of new transductants. Transduction rates ranged from 10(sup-9) to 10(sup-6) per total viable cell count per ml per generation and increased with both the recipient concentration and the phage-to-bacterium ratio. These observations indicate an increased opportunity for transduction to occur when the interacting components are in greater abundance.

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