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FEMS Microbiol Ecol. 2006 Jan;55(1):17-27.

Evolutionary algorithms and flow cytometry to examine the parameters influencing transconjugant formation.

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Laboratory of Microbial Ecology and Technology, LabMET, Ghent University, Ghent, Belgium.


An evolutionary algorithm was used to determine the optimal combination of parameters for transconjugant formation. As a model system, a gfp tagged TOL plasmid pWW0 was chosen to examine transfer from Pseudomonas putida to Escherichia coli. A comparison of flow cytometry results with plating and microscopy showed that the majority of transconjugants were not culturable. The transconjugant ratio therefore was determined by flow cytometry. The evolutionary algorithm showed that the optimal conditions were obtained at 28 degrees C and at the highest nutrient concentrations. This work demonstrates that evolutionary algorithms can be used to find optimal parameter interactions in environmental microbiology.

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