Interspecies transduction of plasmids among Bacillus anthracis, B. cereus, and B. thuringiensis

J Bacteriol. 1984 Mar;157(3):708-11. doi: 10.1128/JB.157.3.708-711.1984.


Bacteriophage CP-51, a generalized transducing phage for Bacillus anthracis, B. cereus, and B. thuringiensis, mediates transduction of plasmid DNA. B. cereus GP7 harbors the 2.8-megadalton multicopy tetracycline resistance plasmid, pBC16. B. thuringiensis 4D11A carries pC194, the 1.8-megadalton multicopy chloramphenicol resistance plasmid. When phage CP-51 was propagated on these strains, it transferred the plasmid-encoded antibiotic resistances to the nonvirulent Weybridge (Sterne) strain of B. anthracis, to B. cereus 569, and to strains of several B. thuringiensis subspecies. The frequency of transfer was as high as 10(-5) transductants per PFU. Tetracycline-resistant and chloramphenicol-resistant transductants contained newly acquired plasmid DNA having the same molecular weight as that contained in the donor strain. Antibiotic-resistant transductants derived from any of the three species were effective donors of plasmids to recipients from all three species.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Bacillus anthracis / drug effects
  • Bacillus anthracis / genetics*
  • Bacillus cereus / drug effects
  • Bacillus cereus / genetics*
  • Bacillus thuringiensis / drug effects
  • Bacillus thuringiensis / genetics*
  • Bacteriophages / genetics
  • Chloramphenicol / pharmacology
  • R Factors
  • Tetracycline / pharmacology
  • Transduction, Genetic*


  • Chloramphenicol
  • Tetracycline