Gene Transfer by Bacterial Conjugation: Establishment of the Immigrant Plasmid in the Recipient Cell

  • Brian M. Wilkins
  • Steven Bates
Part of the NATO ASI Series book series (volume 103)


Bacterial plasmids are extrachromosomal DNA elements that replicate autonomously in their host cells. In addition to containing sectors for replication and maintenance stability, plasmids collectively carry diverse cargoes of specialised genes for functions of environmental, medical and commercial importance. Examples are degradative enzymes, antibiotic-resistance and virulence factors, and DNA restriction enzymes.


Recipient Cell Conjugative Transfer Conjugative Plasmid Bacterial Conjugation Mobilisable Plasmid 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Anthony KG, Sherburne C, Sherburne R, Frost LS (1994) The role of the pilus in recipient cell recognition during bacterial conjugation mediated by F-like plasmids. Mol Microbiol 13: 939–953PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Balzer D, Pansegrau W, Lanka E (1994) Essential motifs of relaxase (Tral) and TraG proteins involved in conjugative transfer of plasmid RP4. J Bacteriol 176: 4285–4295PubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. Bickle TA, Krüger DH (1993) Biology of DNA restriction. Microbiol Rev 57: 434–450PubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. Chilley PM, Wilkins BM (1995) Distribution of the ardA family of antirestriction genes on conjugative plasmids. Microbiology 141: 2157–2164PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Citovsky V, Zupan J, Warnick D, Zambryski, P (1992) Nuclear localization of Agrobacterium VirE2 protein in plant cells. Science 256: 1802–1805PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Clewell DB (1993) Bacterial sex pheromone-induced transfer. Cell 73: 9–12PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Dingwall C, Laskey RA (1991) Nuclear targeting sequences-a consensus? Trends Biochem Sci 16: 478–481PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Dutreix M, Bäckman A, Célérier J, Bagdasarian MM, Sommer S, Bailone A, Devoret R, Bagdasarian M (1988) Identification of the psiB genes of plasmids F and R6–5. Molecular basis for psiB enhanced expression in plasmid R6–5. Nucl Acids Res 16: 10669–10679PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Erickson MJ, Meyer RJ (1993) The origin of greater-than-unit-length plasmids generated during bacterial conjugation. Mol Microbiol 7: 289–298PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Feruya N, Komano T (1991) Determination of the nick site at oriT of Inch plasmid R64: global similarity of oriT structures of Inch and IncP plasmids. J Bacteriol 173: 6612–6617Google Scholar
  11. Frost LS, Ippen-Ihler K, Skurray RA (1994) Analysis of the sequence and gene products of the transfer region of the F sex factor. Microbiol Rev 58: 162–210PubMedGoogle Scholar
  12. Haase J, Lurz R, Grahn AM, Bamford DH, Lanka E (1995) Bacterial conjugation mediated by plasmid RP4: RSF1010 mobilization, donor-specific phage propagation, and pilus production require the same Tra2 core components of a proposed DNA transport complex. J Bacteriol 177: 4779–4791PubMedGoogle Scholar
  13. Heinemann JA, Sprague GF (1989) Bacterial conjugative plasmids mobilize DNA transfer between bacteria and yeast. Nature 340: 205–209PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Howard EA, Zupan JR, Citovsky V, Zambryski PC (1992) The VirD2 protein of A. tumefaciens contains a C-terminal bipartite nuclear localization signal: implications for nuclear uptake of DNA in plant cells. Cell 68: 109–118PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Jones AL, Barth PT, Wilkins BM (1992) Zygotic induction of plasmid ssb and psiB genes following conjugative transfer of IncIl plasmid ColIb-P9. Mol Microbiol 6: 605–613PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Lanka E, Wilkins BM (1995) DNA processing reactions in bacterial conjugation. Annu Rev Biochem 64: 141–169PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Merryweather A, Barth PT, Wilkins BM (1986) Role and specificity of plasmid RP4encoded DNA primase in bacterial conjugation. J Bacteriol 167: 12–17PubMedGoogle Scholar
  18. Pansegrau W, Lanka E, Barth PT, Figurski DH, Guiney DG, Haas D, Helinski DR, Schwab H, Stanisich VA, Thomas CM (1994) Complete nucleotide sequence of Birmingham IncPa plasmids: compilation and comparative analysis of sequence data. J Mol Biol 239: 623–663PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Read TD, Thomas AT, Wilkins BM (1992) Evasion of type I and type II restriction systems by IncII plasmid ColIbP-9 during transfer by bacterial conjugation. Mol Microbiol 6: 1933–1941PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Rees CED, Wilkins BM (1990) Protein transfer into the recipient cell during bacterial conjugation: studies with F and RP4. Mol Microbiol 4: 1199–1205PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Simon, JR, Moore PD (1987) Homologous recombination between single-stranded DNA and chromosomal genes in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Mol Cell Biol 7: 2329–2334.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  22. Skurray RA, Reeves P (1973) Physiology of Escherichia coli K-12 during conjugation: altered recipient cell functions associated with lethal zygosis. J Bacteriol 114: 11–17PubMedGoogle Scholar
  23. Skurray RA, Reeves P (1974) F factor-mediated immunity to lethal zygosis in Escherichia coli K-12. J Bacteriol 117: 100–106PubMedGoogle Scholar
  24. Sundberg C, Meek L, Carroll K, Das A, Ream W (1996) VirEl protein mediates export of the single-stranded DNA binding protein VirE2 from Agrobacterium tumefaciens into plant cells. J Bacteriol 178: 1207–1212PubMedGoogle Scholar
  25. Wilkins BM, Chilley PM, Thomas AT, Pocklington MJ (1996) Distribution of restriction enzyme recognition sequences on broad host range plasmid RP4: molecular and evolutionary implications. J Mol Biol 258: 447–456PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • Brian M. Wilkins
    • 1
  • Steven Bates
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of GeneticsUniversity of LeicesterLeicesterUK

Personalised recommendations