Plasmid transformation of Streptococcus sanguis (Challis) occurs by circular and linear molecules

Mol Gen Genet. 1981;182(3):490-7. doi: 10.1007/BF00293940.


Transformation of Streptococcus sanguis (Challis) by antibiotic resistance plasmids has shown that (a) competence developed with identical kinetics for chromosomal and plasmid DNA; (b) dependence of transformant yield on plasmid DNA concentration was second order; (c) open circular plasmid DNA transformed Challis, although at reduced frequency, (d) linearization of plasmid DNA by restriction enzymes cutting at unique sites inactivated the transforming capacity; (e) transforming activity was restored when linear plasmid molecules generated by different restriction enzymes were mixed; (f) restoration of transforming activity depended on the distance between the linearizing cuts, i.e. on the presence of sufficiently long overlapping homologous sequences; (g) when linear deletion mutants were mixed with linear parental plasmids the smaller plasmid was restored with significantly higher frequency. Based on these data, a model for plasmid transformation of Challis is proposed according to which circular plasmid is linearized during binding and uptake. One DNA strand enters the cell and restoration of circular plasmids inside the cell occurs by annealing of complementary single strands from two different donor molecules. Implications of this model for recombinant DNA experiments in streptococci are discussed.

MeSH terms

  • Chromosomes, Bacterial
  • DNA, Bacterial / genetics*
  • DNA, Circular / genetics
  • Nucleic Acid Conformation
  • Plasmids*
  • Recombination, Genetic
  • Streptococcus sanguis / genetics*
  • Transformation, Genetic*


  • DNA, Bacterial
  • DNA, Circular