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Mobilization of the genes for photosynthesis from Rhodopseudomonas capsulata by a promiscuous plasmid.

  • B Marrs
Publication Date
Jun 01, 1981


Plasmid pBLM2, a derivative of RP1 with enhanced chromosome mobilization activity in Rhodopseudomonas capsulata, was isolated by screening rare exconjugant clones for sex factor activity. pBLM2 mobilized all known genes affecting photosynthesis as well as chromosomal genes for streptomycin and rifampin resistance and tryptophan and cytochrome biosynthesis. Tight linkage was exhibited among the genes affecting photosynthesis. The frequency of successful transfer of chromosomal markers reached 6 X 10(-4) per donor cell. R-primes were occasionally formed during conjugation, and a number of R-primes bearing the genes for photosynthesis were isolated by screening R. capsulata exconjugants with complementation phenotypes for the ability to transmit plasmid-borne R. capsulata genes to Escherichia coli cells. These R-primes were unstable in R. capsulata, but stable in E. coli or Pseudomonas fluorescens. Complementation and recombination events that occurred upon introduction of R-primes into R. capsulata mutants with altered photosynthetic apparatuses could be visualized as variations in colony pigmentation. Each R-prime studied complemented all known types of mutation affecting the differentiation of the photosynthetic apparatus, and no other R. capsulata gene was identified on those plasmids. The R. capsulata genes borne on the R-primes were not functional in E. coli or P. fluorescens.

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