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, 67 (6), 2617-21

Natural Transformation of Pseudomonas Fluorescens and Agrobacterium Tumefaciens in Soil

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Natural Transformation of Pseudomonas Fluorescens and Agrobacterium Tumefaciens in Soil

S Demanèche et al. Appl Environ Microbiol.

Abstract

Little information is available concerning the occurrence of natural transformation of bacteria in soil, the frequency of such events, and the actual role of this process on bacterial evolution. This is because few bacteria are known to possess the genes required to develop competence and because the tested bacteria are unable to reach this physiological state in situ. In this study we found that two soil bacteria, Agrobacterium tumefaciens and Pseudomonas fluorescens, can undergo transformation in soil microcosms without any specific physical or chemical treatment. Moreover, P. fluorescens produced transformants in both sterile and nonsterile soil microcosms but failed to do so in the various in vitro conditions we tested. A. tumefaciens could be transformed in vitro and in sterile soil samples. These results indicate that the number of transformable bacteria could be higher than previously thought and that these bacteria could find the conditions necessary for uptake of extracellular DNA in soil.

Figures

FIG. 1
FIG. 1
Confirmation of the presence of plasmid pPZP111 in A. tumefaciens GM19023 transformants. Lanes: A, smart ladder (Eurogentec); ND, nondigested profile of extracted plasmids; D, ScaI-digested profile of extracted plasmids; 1, clone from filter experiments with P. fluorescens AK15(pPZP111) as donor; 2, clone from filter experiments with pPZP111 as donor; 3 and 4, clones from experiments with P. fluorescens AK15(pPZP111) as donor in nonsterile soil; 5 and 6, clones from experiments with pPZP111 as donor in sterile soil; 7, A. tumefaciens GMI9023.
FIG. 2
FIG. 2
Confirmation of the presence of plasmid pKT230 in P. fluorescens LP59JG transformants. Lanes: A, smart ladder (Eurogentec); ND, nondigested profile of extracted plasmids; D, PstI-digested profile of extracted plasmids; 1, E. coli DH10B(pKT230); 2, clone from experiments with E. coli DH10B(pKT230) as donor in sterile soil; 3, clone from experiments with E. coli DH10B(pKT230) as donor in nonsterile soil; 4 and 5, clones from experiments with pKT230 as donor in sterile soil; 6, P. fluorescens LP59JG.

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