Heat Shock-Enhanced Conjugation Efficiency in Standard Campylobacter jejuni Strains.

Campylobacter jejuni, the leading bacterial cause of human gastroenteritis in the United States, displays significant strain diversity due to horizontal gene transfer. Conjugation is an important horizontal gene transfer mechanism contributing to the evolution of bacterial pathogenesis and antimicrobial resistance. It has been observed that heat shock could increase transformation efficiency in some bacteria. In this study, the effect of heat shock on C. jejuni conjugation efficiency and the underlying mechanisms were examined. With a modified Escherichia coli donor strain, different C. jejuni recipient strains displayed significant variation in conjugation efficiency ranging from 6.2 × 10(-8) to 6.0 × 10(-3) CFU per recipient cell. Despite reduced viability, heat shock of standard C. jejuni NCTC 11168 and 81-176 strains (e.g., 48 to 54°C for 30 to 60 min) could dramatically enhance C. jejuni conjugation efficiency up to 1,000-fold. The phenotype of the heat shock-enhanced conjugation in C. jejuni recipient cells could be sustained for at least 9 h. Filtered supernatant from the heat shock-treated C. jejuni cells could not enhance conjugation efficiency, which suggests that the enhanced conjugation efficiency is independent of secreted substances. Mutagenesis analysis indicated that the clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats system and the selected restriction-modification systems (Cj0030/Cj0031, Cj0139/Cj0140, Cj0690c, and HsdR) were dispensable for heat shock-enhanced conjugation in C. jejuni. Taking all results together, this study demonstrated a heat shock-enhanced conjugation efficiency in standard C. jejuni strains, leading to an optimized conjugation protocol for molecular manipulation of this organism. The findings from this study also represent a significant step toward elucidation of the molecular mechanism of conjugative gene transfer in C. jejuni.
AuthorsXimin Zeng, Devarshi Ardeshna, Jun Lin
JournalApplied and environmental microbiology (Appl Environ Microbiol) Vol. 81 Issue 13 Pg. 4546-52 (Jul 2015) ISSN: 1098-5336 [Electronic] United States
PMID25911489 (Publication Type: Journal Article, Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't)
CopyrightCopyright © 2015, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.

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