Bacteriophage-associated gene transfer in pneumococcus: Transduction or pseudotransduction?

R. D. Porter, N. B. Shoemaker, G. Rampe, W. R. Guild

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Lysates of pneumococcal phage PG24 transferred genes from one host to another in a process with many of the properties of generalized transduction, in that the host genes were packaged in DNase-resistant particles that closely resembled infectious phage in physical properties, adsorbed to the recipient cells like phage, and were inhibited by antisera to the phage and by trypsin. However, phage processes did not complete the transfer of host DNA as they did phage DNA. Instead, gene transfer required development of competence and entry of the host DNA by the endonuclease-dependent pathway used for transforming and transfecting DNA. This process often occurred on the assay plate hours after adsorption of the particles to the cells, and the transfer was DNase sensitive if challenged at this time. Phenotypic expression was therefore also delayed. The product of entry was like that in transformation, a single strand of DNA that integrates by formation of a hex-sensitive donor-recipient heteroduplex. Whether this gene transfer process is unique to this system or is only the first one described is not clear. The term 'pseudotransduction' may be useful in calling attention to its unexpected features. The DNA of PG24 phage has anomalous physical properties reflecting unusual bases.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)556-567
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of bacteriology
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1979

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Microbiology
  • Molecular Biology


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