Springer Nature is making Coronavirus research free. View research | View latest news | Sign up for updates

Mini-muduction: A new mode of gene transfer mediated by mini-Mu

  • 27 Accesses

  • 1 Citations


We compared the transducing properties of Mucts62 and Mucts62/mini-Mu lysates, using Mu immune and non immune Rec+ and recA recipient strains. The Mu/mini-Mu lysates transduced all bacterial markers tested 10 times more efficiently than the Mucts62 lysates in Rec+ recipients. Most of the transductants obtained after infection with the Mu/mini-Mu lysates result from the substitution of the mutated gene of the recipient by the wild type allele from the donor, most probably carried on the gigantic variable end linked to the mini-Mu genome.

Moreover the Mu/mini-Mu lysates gave a new type of Rec-independent transduction that we called mini-muduction. Mini-muduction requires the activity of Mu gene A and provides transductants which carry the transduced marker surrounded by two mini-Mu genomes similarly oriented, and inserted at random location in the recipient chromosome. The mini-Mu/transduced DNA/mini-Mu structures are able to transpose spontaneously, for instance into a transmissible plasmid, in the presence of Mu gene A product.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.


  1. Adams, M.H.: Bacteriophages. New York: Interscience Publishers 1959

  2. Bade, E.G., Howe, M.M., Rawluk, L.: Preferential generalized transduction by bacteriophage Mu-1. Mol. Gen. Genet. 160, 89–94 (1978)

  3. Bukhari, A.I.: Bacteriophage Mu as a transposition element. Ann. Rev. Genet. 10, 389–412 (1976)

  4. Bukhari, A.I., Ljungquist, E.: Bacteriophage Mu: Methods for cultivation and use. In: DNA insertions elements, plasmids and episomes. (A.I. Bukhari, J.A. Shapiro, and S.L. Adhya, eds.), pp. 749–756. New York: Cold Spring Harbor Press 1977

  5. Campbell, A.: Sensitive mutants of bacteriophage λ. Virology 14, 22–32 (1961)

  6. Castellazzi, M., Brachet, P., Eisen, H.: Isolation and characterization of deletions in bacteriophage residing as prophage in E. coli K12. Mol. Gen. Genet. 117, 211–218 (1972)

  7. Faelen, M., Huisman, O., Toussaint, A.: Involvement of phage Mu-1 early functions in Mu mediated chromosomal rearrangements. Nature 271, 580–582 (1978a)

  8. Faelen, M., Resibois, A., Toussaint, A.: Mini-Mu: an insertion element derived from temperate phage Mu-1. Cold Spring Harbor Symp. Quant. Biol. 43, 1169–1177 (1978b)

  9. Franklin, N.C., Dove, W.F., Yanofsky, C.: The linear insertion of a prophage into the chromosome of E. coli shown by deletion mapping. Biophys. Res. Commun. 18, 910–923 (1965)

  10. Glansdorff, N.: Topography of cotransductible arginine mutations in E. coli K12. Genetics 51, 167–179 (1965)

  11. Glansdorff, N., Dambly, C., Palchaudhuri, S., Crabeel, M., Pierard, A., Halleux, P.: Isolation and hetero-duplex mapping of a lambda transducing bacteriophage carrying the structural genes for carbamoylphosphate synthase: regulation of enzyme synthesis in Escherichia coli K-12 lysogens. J. Bacteriol. 127, 302–308 (1976)

  12. Gottesman, M., Yarmolinsky, M.: The integration and excision of bacteriophage λ. Cold Spring Harbor Symp. Quant. Biol. 33, 735–739 (1968)

  13. Gottesman S., Adhya S.: Genetic, physical and restriction map of bacteriophage λ. In: DNA insertion elements, episomes and plasmids (A.I. Bukhari, J. Shapiro, and S. Adhya, eds.), pp. 713–718. New York: Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory 1977

  14. Howe, M.M.: Prophage deletion mapping of bacteriophage Mu-1. Virology 54, 93–101 (1973a)

  15. Howe, M.M.: Transduction by bacteriophage Mu-1. Virology 55, 103–117 (1973b)

  16. Kaiser, A.D.: Mutation in a temperate bacteriophage affecting its ability to lysogenize E. coli. Virology 3, 42–61 (1957)

  17. Kellenberger, G., Zichichi, M.L., Weigle, J.: Exchange of DNA in the recombination of bacteriophage λ. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 47, 869–878 (1961)

  18. Lennox, E.S.: Transduction of linked genetic characters of the host by bacteriophage P1. Virology 1, 190–206 (1955)

  19. McEntee, K., Epstein, W.: Isolation and characterization of specialized transducing bacteriophage for the recA gene of Escherichia coli. Virology 77, 306–321 (1977)

  20. Mergeay, M., Gigot, D., Beckmann, J., Glansdorff, N., Pierard, A.: Physiology and genetics of carbamoylphosphate synthesis in Escherichia coli K12. Mol. Gen. Genet. 133, 299–316 (1974)

  21. O'Day, K.J., Schultz, D.W., Howe, M.M.: A search for integration deficient mutants of bacteriophage Mu-1. In: Microbiology 1978 (D. Schlessinger, ed.), pp. 48–51. Washington, D.C.: ASM Publication, 1978

  22. Thomas, R., Leurs, C., Dambly, C., Parmentier, D., Lambert, L., Brachet, P., Lefebvre, N., Mousset, S., Porcheret, J., Szpirer, J., Wauters, D.: Isolation and characterization of new sus (am) mutants of bacteriophage λ. Mutat. Res. 4, 735–741 (1967)

  23. Toussaint, A., Faelen, M., Bukhari, A.I.: Mu mediated illegitimate recombination as a part of the Mu lytic cycle. In: DNA insertion elements, plasmids and episomes (Bukhari, A.I., Shapiro, J., Adhya, S., eds.), pp. 275–285. New York: Cold Spring Harbor Press 1977

  24. van de Putte, P., Zwenk, H., Rörsh, A.: Properties of four mutants of Escherichia Coli defective in genetic recombination. Mutat. Res. 3, 381–392 (1966)

  25. Weigle, J.M., Meselson, M., Paigen, K.: Density alterations associated with transducing ability in the bacteriophage λ J. Mol. Biol. 1, 379–386 (1959)

Download references

Author information

Correspondence to Michel Faelen.

Additional information

Communicated by J. Schell

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Faelen, M., Toussaint, A. & Resibois, A. Mini-muduction: A new mode of gene transfer mediated by mini-Mu. Molec. Gen. Genet. 176, 191–197 (1979).

Download citation


  • Gene Transfer
  • Wild Type Allele
  • Random Location
  • Type Allele
  • Recipient Strain