Identification of host genes that affect acquisition of an integrative and conjugative element in Bacillus subtilis
Author(s)Johnson, Christopher M; Grossman, Alan Davis
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Conjugation, a major type of horizontal gene transfer in bacteria, involves transfer of DNA from a donor to a recipient using donor-encoded conjugation machinery. Using a high throughput screen (Tn-seq), we identified genes in recipients that contribute to acquisition of the integrative and conjugative element ICEBs1 by Bacillus subtilis. We found that null mutations in some genes caused an increase, and others a decrease in conjugation efficiency. Some mutations affected conjugation only when present in recipients. Other mutations affected conjugation when present in donors or recipients. Most of the genes identified are known or predicted to affect the cell envelope. Several encode enzymes involved in phospholipid biosynthesis and one encodes a homolog of penicillin binding proteins. Two of the genes identified also affected conjugation of Tn916, indicating that their roles in conjugation may be general. We did not identify any genes in recipients that were essential for ICEBs1 conjugation, indicating that if there are such genes, then these are either essential for cell growth or redundant. Our results indicate that acquisition of ICEBs1, and perhaps other conjugative elements, is robust and not easily avoided by mutation and that several membrane-related functions affect the efficiency of conjugation
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Center for Environmental Health Sciences; Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Biology
Johnson, Christopher M., and Alan D. Grossman. “Identification of Host Genes That Affect Acquisition of an Integrative and Conjugative Element in B Acillus Subtilis: Genes in Recipients That Affect Conjugation.” Molecular Microbiology 2014 September ; 93(6): 1284–1301.
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