Mobile Genetic Elements

Broad host range plasmids that belong to the Incompatibility P (IncP) group are highly interactive molecules in their acquisition of elements and their potential to contribute to the gene pool even when the components for self-mobility have been lost. The mechanisms involved in the evolution of these plasmids and their potential to contribute to the evolution of Gram-negative bacterial species are of interest to our laboratory. Two main foci exist within the plasmid backbone that attracts foreign DNA such as transposons, which encode resistance to antimicrobials providing the bacteria with a selective advantage.

A small family of transposons, known as the Tn5053-family, display a targeted and oriented insertion in the res site of the IncP plasmid RP1. We are interested in unravelling the molecular mechanisms involved in their transposition pathways.