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Can J Microbiol. 2004 Aug;50(8):595-604.

Field and soil microcosm studies on the survival and conjugation of a Pseudomonas putida strain bearing a recombinant plasmid, pADPTel.

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Department of Applied Microbiology and Food Science, University of Saskatchewan, 51 Campus Drive, Saskatoon, SK S7N 5A8, Canada.


Pseudomonas putida CR30RNS (pADPTel) is an antibiotic-resistant strain with a recombinant plasmid that confers resistance to tellurite and the ability to catabolize atrazine. The survival of this strain as well as its ability to transfer genes for atrazine degradation and tellurite resistance to indigenous soil bacteria were tested in both fallow soil and canola (Brassica napus) rhizosphere by the use of parallel field and laboratory releases. Culturable CR30RNS (pADPTel) were enumerated in field and microcosm soils at 7- to 14-day intervals over 49 d. Strain CR30RNS (pADPTel) survived for up to 7 weeks in microcosm soils at a density of 10(4) CFU/g soil, whereas in field soils the population declined to 10(3) CFU/g soil by the fourth week. In contrast, when CR30RNS (pADPTel) was introduced into the soil as a seed coating of canola (B. napus 'Karoo'), the bacterium established at higher cell densities in the rhizosphere (10(6)-10(5) CFU/g fresh root mass), with no subsequent decrease in numbers. The presence of selective pressure (i.e., atrazine) had no significant effect on the survival of CR30RNS (pADPTel) in either field or microcosm soils. One year postinoculation field sites were examined for the presence of CR30RNS (pADPTel) and no evidence of culturable parental cells was observed when samples were plated onto selective media. However, the atzC and telAB gene segments were amplified from the field soils at that time. Under laboratory conditions, indigenous soil bacteria were capable of receiving and expressing the engineered plasmid construct at frequencies ranging from 1 to 10(-3) transconjugants per donor. However, no plasmid transfer to indigenous soil bacteria was detected in the field or microcosm soils regardless of the presence of canola rhizosphere and (or) the application of atrazine. Our results show that the survival and population size of P. putida CR30RNS (pADPTel) might be sufficient for degradation of environmental pollutants but that the transfer frequency was too low to be detected under the conditions of this study.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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