Summary: A 7.8 kb plasmid (pQM17) encoding mercury resistance was isolated from two epilithic strains of The plasmid had a broad host range when mobilized by RP1, transferring into , , , , and sp. with frequencies ranging from 5.3 × 10- to 4.6 × 10 per recipient. The plasmid could be transferred into BD413 using intact cells of donor and recipient bacteria (i.e. natural transformation) and there was a broad temperature optimum (14-37 °C) for transformation. Transformation was as efficient in liquid matings as on plates but there was no effect of pH in the range 5.6-7.9. Maximum transformation frequencies were obtained after 24 h on agar plates containing 3.5-10 g C1 with donor to recipient ratios ranging from 6 to 415.


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