Transduction of low-copy number plasmids by bacteriophage P22

Brandon A. Mann, James M. Slauch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The generalized transducing bacteriophage of Salmonella typhimurium, P22, can transduce plasmids in addition to chromosomal markers. Previous studies have concentrated on transduction of pBR322 by P22 and P22HT, the high transducing mutant of P22. This study investigates the mechanism of P22HT transduction of low-copy number plasmids, namely pSC101 derivatives. We show that P22HT transduces pSC101 derivatives that share homology with the chromosome by two distinct mechanisms. In the first mechanism, the plasmid integrates into the chromosome of the donor by homologous recombination. This chromosomal fragment is then packaged in the transducing particle. The second mechanism is a size-dependent mechanism involving a putative plasmid multimer. We propose that this multimer is formed by interplasmidic recombination. In contrast, P22HT can efficiently transduce pBR322 by a third mechanism, which is independent of plasmid homology with the chromosome. It has been proposed that the phage packages a linear concatemer created during rolling circle replication of pBR322, similar in fashion to phage genome packaging. This study investigates the role of RecA, RecD, and RecF recombination proteins in plasmid/plasmid and plasmid/chromosome interactions that form packageable substrates in the donor. We also examine the resolution of various transduced plasmid species in the recipient and the roles of RecA and RecD in these processes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)447-456
Number of pages10
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 1997

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics


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