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Mol Gen Genet. 1987 Aug;209(1):61-70.

Shuttle transfer (or retrotransfer) of chromosomal markers mediated by plasmid pULB113.

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D├ępartement de Biologie, Studiecentrum voor Kernenergie, Mol, Belgium.


The IncP1 plasmid pULB113 (RP4::miniMu) not only mediates the transfer of chromosomal markers in the classical direction (i.e. from the donor to the recipient cell) but also in the opposite direction (i.e. from the recipient bacterium to the donor). This phenomenon of retrotransfer was observed in homologous matings with Pseudomonas fluorescens, Alcaligenes eutrophus and Salmonella typhimurium. Retrotransconjugants could be discriminated from direct transconjugants by appropriate chromosomal and plasmid markers used to distinguish the mating partners not bearing pULB113. Retrotransfer of chromosomal markers occurred at frequencies equal to, or sometimes greater than, those observed for the direct mobilization, thus allowing the recovery of "recipient" recessive markers in the "donor" with linkage values similar to those found in the normal direction. Retrotransfer was also observed in heterospecific matings involving A. eutrophus and pULB113 bearing P. fluorescens: R-primes carrying different selected and unselected markers were recovered in both bacteria. "Retrotransfer" or "shuttle transfer" seems to be a specific trait of IncP1 plasmids.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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