Properties affecting transfer and expression of degradative plasmids for the purpose of bioremediation.

Journal Article (Review;Journal Article)

Plasmids, circular DNA that exist and replicate outside of the host chromosome, have been important in the spread of non-essential genes as well as the rapid evolution of prokaryotes. Recent advances in environmental engineering have aimed to utilize the mobility of plasmids carrying degradative genes to disseminate them into the environment for cost-effective and environmentally friendly remediation of harmful contaminants. Here, we review the knowledge surrounding plasmid transfer and the conditions needed for successful transfer and expression of degradative plasmids. Both abiotic and biotic factors have a great impact on the success of degradative plasmid transfer and expression of the degradative genes of interest. Properties such as ecological growth strategies of bacteria may also contribute to plasmid transfer and may be an important consideration for bioremediation applications. Finally, the methods for detection of conjugation events have greatly improved and the application of these tools can help improve our understanding of conjugation in complex communities. However, it remains clear that more methods for in situ detection of plasmid transfer are needed to help detangle the complexities of conjugation in natural environments to better promote a framework for precision bioremediation.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Varner, PM; Gunsch, CK

Published Date

  • August 2021

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 32 / 4

Start / End Page

  • 361 - 375

PubMed ID

  • 34046775

Pubmed Central ID

  • PMC8354580

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1572-9729

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0923-9820

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1007/s10532-021-09950-1


  • eng