Transduction by φBB-1, a bacteriophage of Borrelia burgdorferi

C. H. Eggers, B. J. Kimmel, J. L. Bono, A. F. Elias, P. Rosa, D. S. Samuels

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68 Scopus citations


We previously described a bacteriophage of the Lyme disease agent Borrelia burgdorferi designated φBB-1. This phage packages the host complement of the 32-kb circular plasmids (cp32s), a group of homologous molecules found throughout the genus Borrelia. To demonstrate the ability of φBB-1 to package and transduce DNA, a kanamycin resistance cassette was inserted into a cloned fragment of phage DNA, and the resulting construct was transformed into B. burgdorferi CA-11.2A cells. The kan cassette recombined into a resident cp32 and was stably maintained. The cp32 containing the kan cassette was packaged by φBB-1 released from this B. burgdorferi strain, φBB-1 has been used to transduce this antibiotic resistance marker into naive CA-11.2A cells, as well as two other strains of B. burgdorferi. This is the first direct evidence of a mechanism for lateral gene transfer in B. burgdorferi.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4771-4778
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Bacteriology
Issue number16
StatePublished - 2001


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