Salmonella recD mutations increase recombination in a short sequence transduction assay

L. Miesel, J. R. Roth

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


We have identified recD mutants of Salmonella typhimurium by their ability to support growth of phage P22 abc (anti-RecBCD) mutants, whose growth is prevented by normal host RecBCD function. As in Escherichia coli, the recD gene of S. typhimurium lies between the recB and argA genes at min 61 of the genetic map. Plasmids carrying the Salmonella recBCD+ genes restore ATP- dependent exonuclease V activity to an E. coli recBCD deletion mutant. The new Salmonella recD mutations (placed on this plasmid) eliminate the exonuclease activity and enable the plasmid-bearing E. coli deletion mutant to support growth of phage T4 gene 2 mutants. The Salmonella recD mutations caused a 3- to 61-fold increase in the ability of a recipient strain to inherit (by transduction) a large inserted element (MudA prophage; 38 kb). In this cross, recombination events must occur in the short (3-kb) sequences that flank the element in the 44-kb transduced fragment. The effect of the recD mutation depends on the nature of the flanking sequences and is likely to be greatest when those sequences lack a Chi site. The recD mutation appears to minimize fragment degradation and/or cause RecBC-dependent recombination events to occur closer to the ends of the transduced fragment. The effect of a recipient recD mutation was eliminated if the donor P22 phage expressed its Abc (anti-RecBC) function. We hypothesize that in standard (high multiplicity of infection) P22-mediated transduction crosses, recombination is stimulated both by Chi sequences (when present in the transduced fragment) and by the phage-encoded Abc protein which inhibits the host RecBCD exonuclease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4092-4103
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Bacteriology
Issue number13
StatePublished - 1994
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology
  • Immunology


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