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Plasmid. 2009 Jan;61(1):65-70. doi: 10.1016/j.plasmid.2008.09.005. Epub 2008 Oct 26.

Large-scale filter mating assay for intra- and inter-specific conjugal transfer of the promiscuous plasmid pMV158 in Gram-positive bacteria.

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Centro de Investigaciones Biológicas, Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas, Madrid, Spain.


Many conjugative or mobilizable plasmids from Gram-positive bacteria can be transferred mainly on filter-based surfaces. Such is the case of the streptococcal promiscuous plasmid pMV158 which can be mobilized by functions provided by auxiliary plasmids of the Inc18 family. We have developed a new large scale method consisting of a 96-well microtiter plate coupled with a filter so that we could perform several mating assays between strains of Streptococcus pneumoniae and between S. pneumoniae and Enterococcus faecalis cells. Transfer was monitored by employment of a derivative plasmid from pMV158 tagged with the gene encoding the Green Fluorescent Protein. Several experimental conditions, like different ratios donor to recipient cells, could be tested, thus allowing us to perform multiple mating assays in a single experiment.

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