PCR primers for detection and characterisation of IncP-9 plasmids

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


  • R Krasowiak
  • K Smalla
  • S Sokolov
  • I Kosheleva
  • M Titok
  • Y Sevastyanovich

Colleges, School and Institutes


IncP-9 plasmids are best known as the vehicles for spreading biodegradation functions among Pseudomonas species but can also carry resistance determinants. New PCR primer systems targeting different replicon-specific regions were designed to allow detection of IncP-9 plasmids. Their specificity was checked against a range of IncP-9 plasmids as well as representatives of incompatibility groups IncFl, IncFII, IncN, IncQ, IncP-1alpha, IncP-1beta, IncP-2, IncP-7, IncP-13, IneW, IncU, IncX and IncZ. Products obtained for plasmids assigned to IncP-9 group by traditional incompatibility testing varied in size and restriction pattern suggesting diversity in the 'core' sequence among related replicons. Specific primer pairs were applied to community DNA extracted from a range of environments including those subject to strong selective pressure, caused by antibiotics, metals and organic pollutants. Abundant products were observed in manure and sewage, independently of the presence of antibiotics and metals, but could also be detected in coastal water and streptomycin-treated soil. Community DNA from faeces of piglets treated and non-treated with Zn gave particularly strong PCR product with IncP-9 rep primers. Therefore, an attempt was made to isolate bacteria carrying the IncP-9-like plasmids, but this was not successful. The results of application of these newly designed primer pairs to plasmid isolates as well as community DNA indicate that the IncP-9-related plasmids are a diverse family prevalent in various environments and widely distributed geographically. (C) 2002 Federation of European Microbiological Societies. Published by Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)217-225
Number of pages9
JournalFEMS Microbiology Ecology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2002


  • biosafety, polymerase chain reaction primer, IncP-9 plasmid, horizontal transfer, bioremediation, total community DNA