Bacteriophages (phages) are ubiquitous in nature. These viruses play a number of central roles in microbial ecology and evolution by, for instance, promoting horizontal gene transfer (HGT) among bacterial species. The ability of phages to mediate HGT through transduction has been widely exploited as an experimental tool for the genetic study of bacteria. As such, bacteriophage P1 represents a prototypical generalized transducing phage with a broad host range that has been extensively employed in the genetic manipulation of Escherichia coli and a number of other model bacterial species. Here we demonstrate that P1 is capable of infecting, lysogenizing, and promoting transduction in members of the bacterial genus Sodalis, including the maternally inherited insect endosymbiont Sodalis glossinidius. While establishing new tools for the genetic study of these bacterial species, our results suggest that P1 may be used to deliver DNA to many Gram-negative endosymbionts in their insect host, thereby circumventing a culturing requirement to genetically manipulate these organisms.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Molecular Biology