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J Gen Microbiol. 1987 Nov;133(11):3099-107.

Plasmid transfer between strains of Pseudomonas aeruginosa on membrane filters attached to river stones.

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Department of Applied Biology, University of Wales Institute of Science and Technology, Cardiff, UK.


A naturally occurring mercury-resistance, conjugative plasmid, designated pQM1, was isolated from a bacterial population on the surface of stones from a river using Pseudomonas aeruginosa as a recipient. This was a narrow-host-range plasmid [IncP-13; 165 MDa; Tra+, Hgr, fluorescein mercuric acetater, merbrominr, Phi(E79), UVr] confined to some Pseudomonas spp. It was used to demonstrate transfer between bacteria on stones in laboratory microcosm experiments and in situ. Transfer occurred (3.3 X 10(-1) to 6.8 X 10(-9) per recipient) at all the temperatures used (6-20 degrees C), although frequencies were lower in the cold. Nutrient status also affected transfer frequency, rich conditions promoting transfer. The presence of competing bacteria in the natural epilithon lowered transfer frequencies, but when unscrubbed stones were heat treated, transfer was enhanced, perhaps because of nutrient release from the heated epilithon.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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