Gene transfer in magnetic bacteria: Transposon mutagenesis and cloning of genomic DNA fragments required for magnetosome synthesis

Tadashi Matsunaga, C. Nakamura, J. G. Burgess, K. Sode

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Broad-host-range IncP and IncQ plasmids have been transferred to the aerobic magnetic bacterium Aquaspirillum sp. strain AMB-1. Conjugal matings with Escherichia coli S17-1 allowed high-frequency transfer of the RK2 derivative pRK415 (4.5 x 10-3 transconjugant per recipient cell) and the RSF1010 derivative pKT230 (3.0 x 10-3 transconjugant per recipient). These plasmids successfully formed autonomous replicons in transconjugants and could be isolated and transformed back into E. coli, illustrating their potential as shuttle vectors. A mobilizable plasmid containing transposon Tn5 was transferred to Aquaspirillum sp. strain AMB-1 and also to the obligately microaerophilic magnetic bacterium Aquaspirillum magnetotacticum MS-1. Five nonmagnetic kanamycin-resistant mutants of Aquaspirillum sp. strain AMB-1 in which Tn5 was shown to be integrated into the chromosome were obtained. Different genomic fragments containing the mutagenized regions were cloned into E. coli. Two genomic fragments were restriction mapped, and the site of Tn5 insertion was determined. They were shown to be identical, although derived from independent transposon insertions. One of these clones was found to hybridize strongly to regions of the A. magnetotacticum MS-1 chromosome. This is the first report of gene transfer in a magnetic bacterium.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2748-2753
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Bacteriology
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 1992
Externally publishedYes


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology
  • Immunology

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