1887

Abstract

The insect-transmissible strain GII-3 of contains plasmids pSci1–6, five of which (pSci1–5) encode adhesin-like proteins and one (pSci6) encodes protein P32, which has been associated with insect transmissibility. In contrast, strains ASP-1 and 44, which cannot be transmitted via injection into the leafhopper vector , lack these proteins and also do not carry plasmids pSci1–6. To further study the apparent relationship between the presence of plasmids and insect transmissibility, plasmids from GII-3 were introduced into the insect-non-transmissible strain 44 by electrotransformation using the gene as the selection marker. Tetracycline-resistant transformants were shown to carry one, two or three distinct plasmids. Plasmids pSci1–6 were all detected in the transformants, pSci1 being the most frequently found, alone or together with other plasmids. Selected 44 transformants having distinct plasmid contents were submitted, separately or in combination, to experimental transmission to periwinkle () plants via injection into the leafhopper vector. The occurrence of symptomatic plants indicated that, in contrast to 44, spiroplasmal transformants were transmitted to the host plant, in which they multiplied. Spiroplasma cultures isolated from these infected plants all contained pSci6, leading to the conclusion that, under the experimental conditions used, transformation by pSci6 conferred insect transmissibility to strain 44. This is believed to be the first report of a phenotypic change associated with transformation of by natural plasmids.

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2006-09-01
2019-11-16
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