Mobilization of a genetically engineered IncQ plasmid, pSKTG, was studied in vitro and in sterile and nonsterile soils. In biparental and triparental filter matings, the mobilization frequencies of pSKTG were identical, and the plasmid was mobilized only in the presence of self-transmissible plasmid RP4p. In sterile soil, mobilization was probably limited by reduced cell-to-cell contact, since the frequencies of mobilization were approximately 100-fold lower than the frequencies in the filter matings. The transfer frequency of pSKTG in sterile soil when RP4p was present in the same strain was about 100-fold higher than the transfer frequency when RP4p was present in a separate strain. In studies in natural soil, pSKTG was also found to be transferred to indigenous bacteria. However, natural mobilization by genetic elements present in the indigenous soil microflora could not be detected. In vitro studies of natural transfer suggested that such genetic elements occur in soil bacteria.
|Journal||Applied and Environmental Microbiology|
|Publication status||Published - 1993|