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Conjugative Transposons

”Conjugative transposons are integrated DNA elements that excise themselves to form a covalently closed circular intermediate. This circular intermediate can either reintegrate in the same cell (intracellular transposition) or transfer by conjugation to a recipient and integrate into the recipient's genome (intercellular transposition). Conjugative transposons were first found in gram-positive cocci but are now known to be present in a variety of gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria also. Conjugative transposons have a surprisingly broad host range, and they probably contribute as much as plasmids to the spread of antibiotic resistance genes in some genera of disease-causing bacteria.”

Abstract excerpt, Conjugative transposons: an unusual and diverse set of integrated gene transfer elements.
Microbiol Rev. 1995 December; 59(4): 579 – 590. A Salyers, N B Shoemaker, A M Stevens, and L Y Li. Department of Microbiology, University of Illinois, Urbana 61801, USA.
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