Natural Transformation on Agar and in River Epilithon
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Natural transformation is a process in which competent cells take up and express exogenous DNA. It is one potential mechanism by which genetic sequences may be transferred through a natural population. There are several review articles discussing the importance of understanding genetic exchange in the environment (Levy and Miller 1989; Coughter and Stewart 1989; Fry and Day 1990). Conjugation has been shown to occur in situ in river epilithon (Bale et al. 1987). Transduction has been demonstrated in diffusion chambers in lake water (Saye et al. 1990) and transformation, in non sterile sediment microcosms (Stewart and Sinigalliano 1990). However, transduction and transformation have not yet been demonstrated, unenclosed in situ in natural environments. The aims of this study were to determine whether genetic information could be transferred by transformation in nature and to develop a simple procedure to determine the frequency of transfer in situ. We used Acinetobacter calcoaceticus because it is naturally competent and the genus is common in aquatic habitats (Baumann 1968).
KeywordsSelective Medium Natural Transformation Transformation Frequency Luria Broth Untreated Culture
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