A transmissible plasmid controlling camphor oxidation in Pseudomonas putida

Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1973 Mar;70(3):885-9. doi: 10.1073/pnas.70.3.885.


Earlier papers demonstrated an extensive genetic exchange among fluorescent Pseudomonads; this one documents for genes specifying enzymes of peripheral dissimilation an extrachromosomal array, segregation, and frequent interstrain transfer. An hypothesis is presented of a general mechanism for the formation and maintenance of metabolic diversity. The example used, the path of oxidative cleavage of the carbocyclic rings of the bicyclic monoterpene D- and L-camphor, terminates in acetate release and isobutyrate chain debranching. By transduction, two gene linkage groups are shown for the reactions before and after isobutyrate. The group for reactions before isobutyrate is plasmid borne, contransferable by conjugation, mitomycin curable, and shows a higher segregation rate from cells that are multiplasmid rather than carrying a single plasmid. The genes that code for isobutyrate and essential anaplerotic and amphibolic metabolism are chromosomal. By conjugation plasmid-borne genes are transferred at a higher frequency than are chromosomal, and are transferred in homologous crosses more frequently than between heterologous species. Most isobutyrate-positive fluorescent pseudomonad strains will accept and express the camphor plasmid.

MeSH terms

  • Camphor / metabolism*
  • Conjugation, Genetic
  • Extrachromosomal Inheritance*
  • Genetic Linkage
  • Inclusion Bodies*
  • Mutation
  • Oxidation-Reduction
  • Phenotype
  • Pseudomonas / metabolism*
  • Transduction, Genetic


  • Camphor