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J Bacteriol. 1981 Jan;145(1):494-502.

Evidence for a chromosome-borne resistance transposon (Tn916) in Streptococcus faecalis that is capable of "conjugal" transfer in the absence of a conjugative plasmid.


Streptococcus faecalis strain DS16 harbors the conjugative hemolysin-bacteriocin plasmid pAD1 (35 megadaltons) and the nonconjugative R-plasmid pAD2 determining resistance to streptomycin, kanamycin, and erythromycin; a tetracycline resistance (Tetr) determinant is located on the chromosome. When strain DS16 was mated (on membrane filters) with the plasmid-free strain JH2-2, Tetr transconjugants could be obtained at a frequency of about 10(-6) per recipient. Analyses of transconjugants showed that some contained the Tetr determinant linked to pAD1. Subsequent studies showed that the Tetr determinant was located on a 10-megaldalton transposon, designated Tn916, which could insert into two hemolysin plasmids: pAM gamma 1 and pOB1. In addition, derivatives of DS16 devoid of pAD1 were capable of transferring Tetr to recipient strains. Transconjugants (plasmid-free) from such matings could subsequently act as donors in the transfer of Tetr. Both transposition and transfer were found to be rec independent.

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