Screening for yeast mutants defective in recipient ability for transkingdom conjugation with Escherichia coli revealed importance of vacuolar ATPase activity in the horizontal DNA transfer phenomenon.

Research paper by Mami M Mizuta, Emi E Satoh, Chika C Katoh, Katsuyuki K Tanaka, Kazuki K Moriguchi, Katsunori K Suzuki

Indexed on: 16 Dec '11Published on: 16 Dec '11Published in: Microbiological Research


Proteobacterium Escherichia coli strains harboring wide-transfer-range conjugative plasmids are able to transfer these plasmids to several yeast species. Whole plasmid DNA is mobilizable in the transkingdom conjugation phenomenon. Owing to the availability of various conjugative plasmids in bacteria, the horizontal DNA transfer has potential to occur between various bacteria and eukaryotes. In order to know host factor genes involved in such conjugation, we systematically tested the conjugability of strains among a yeast library comprising single-gene-knockout mutants in this study. This genome-wide screen identified 26 host chromosomal genes whose absence reduced the efficiency of the transkingdom conjugation. Among the 26 genes, 20 are responsible for vacuolar ATPase activity, while 5 genes (SHP1, CSG2, CCR4, NOT5, and HOF1) seem to play a role in maintaining the cell surface. Lack of either ZUO1 gene or SSZ1 gene, each of which encodes a component of the ribosome-associated cytoplasmic molecular chaperone, also strongly affected transkingdom conjugation.