Format

Send to

Choose Destination
Science. 2008 Mar 14;319(5869):1533-6. doi: 10.1126/science.1153498.

Direct visualization of horizontal gene transfer.

Author information

1
INSERM U571, Paris F-75015, France.

Abstract

Conjugation allows bacteria to acquire genes for antibiotic resistance, novel virulence attributes, and alternative metabolic pathways. Using a fluorescent protein fusion, SeqA-YFP, we have visualized this process in real time and in single cells of Escherichia coli. We found that the F pilus mediates DNA transfer at considerable cell-to-cell distances. Integration of transferred DNA by recombination occurred in up to 96% of recipients; in the remaining cells, the transferred DNA was fully degraded by the RecBCD helicase/nuclease. The acquired integrated DNA was tracked through successive replication rounds and was found to occasionally split and segregate with different chromosomes, leading to the inheritance of different gene clusters within the cell lineage. The incidence of DNA splitting corresponds to about one crossover per cell generation.

PMID:
18339941
DOI:
10.1126/science.1153498
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free full text

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for HighWire
Loading ...
Support Center