Send to

Choose Destination
Mol Gen Genet. 2000 Apr;263(3):471-82.

Phenotypic and molecular characterization of conjugative antibiotic resistance plasmids isolated from bacterial communities of activated sludge.

Author information

Lehrstuhl für Genetik, Universität Bielefeld, Germany.


In order to isolate antibiotic resistance plasmids from bacterial communities found in activated sludge, derivatives of the 3-chlorobenzoate-degrading strain Pseudomonas sp. B13, tagged with the green fluorescent protein as an identification marker, were used as recipients in filter crosses. Transconjugants were selected on agar plates containing 3-chlorobenzoate as the sole carbon source and the antibiotic tetracycline, streptomycin or spectinomycin, and were recovered at frequencies in the range of 10(-5) to 10(-8) per recipient. A total of 12 distinct plasmids, designated pB1-pB12, was identified. Their sizes ranged between 41 to 69 kb and they conferred various patterns of antibiotic resistance on their hosts. Two of the plasmids, pB10 and pB11, also mediated resistance to inorganic mercury. Seven of the 12 plasmids were identified as broad-host-range plasmids, displaying extremely high transfer frequencies in filter crosses, ranging from 10(-1) to 10(-2) per recipient cell. Ten of the 12 plasmids belonged to the IncP incompatibility group, based on replicon typing using IncP group-specific PCR primers. DNA sequencing of PCR amplification products further revealed that eight of the 12 plasmids belonged to the IncPbeta subgroup, whereas two plasmids were identified as IncPalpha plasmids. Analysis of the IncP-specific PCR products revealed considerable differences among the IncPbeta plasmids at the DNA sequence level. In order to characterize the gene "load" of the IncP plasmids, restriction fragments were cloned and their DNA sequences established. A remarkable diversity of putative proteins encoded by these fragments was identified. Besides transposases and proteins involved in antibiotic resistance, two putative DNA invertases belonging to the Din family, a methyltransferase of a type I restriction/modification system, a superoxide dismutase, parts of a putative efflux system belonging to the RND family, and proteins of unknown function were identified.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Loading ...
Support Center