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Research Article
1 July 1988

Transduction of Escherichia coli by bacteriophage P1 in soil


Transduction of Escherichia coli W3110(R702) and J53(RP4) (10(4) to 10(5) CFU/g of soil) by lysates of temperature-sensitive specialized transducing derivatives of bacteriophage P1 (10(4) to 10(5) PFU/g of soil) (P1 Cm cts, containing the resistance gene for chloramphenicol, or P1 Cm cts::Tn501, containing the resistance genes for chloramphenicol and mercury [Hg]) occurred in soil amended with montmorillonite or kaolinite and adjusted to a -33-kPa water tension. In nonsterile soil, survival of introduced E. coli and the numbers of E. coli transductants resistant to chloramphenicol or Hg were independent of the clay amendment. The numbers of added E. coli increased more when bacteria were added in Luria broth amended with Ca and Mg (LCB) than when they were added in saline, and E. coli transductants were approximately 1 order of magnitude higher in LCB; however, the same proportion of E. coli was transduced with both types of inoculum. In sterile soil, total and transduced E. coli and P1 increased by 3 to 4 logs, which was followed by a plateau when they were inoculated in LCB and a gradual decrease when they were inoculated in saline. Transduction appeared to occur primarily in the first few days after addition of P1 to soil. The transfer of Hg or chloramphenicol resistance from lysogenic to nonlysogenic E. coli by phage P1 occurred in both sterile and nonsterile soils. On the basis of heat-induced lysis and phenotype, as well as hybridization with a DNA probe in some studies, the transductants appeared to be the E. coli that was added. Transduction of indigenous soil bacteria was not unequivocally demonstrated.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

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Published In

cover image Applied and Environmental Microbiology
Applied and Environmental Microbiology
Volume 54Number 7July 1988
Pages: 1731 - 1737
PubMed: 3046491


Published online: 1 July 1988


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L R Zeph
Department of Biology, New York University, New York 10003.
M A Onaga
Department of Biology, New York University, New York 10003.
G Stotzky
Department of Biology, New York University, New York 10003.

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