A phage (PhiOT8) isolated on Serratia sp. ATCC 39006 was shown to be flagellum-dependent, and to mediate generalized transduction with high efficiency (up to 10(-4) transductants per p.f.u.). PhiOT8 was shown to have a broad host range because it also infected a strain of Pantoea agglomerans isolated from the rhizosphere. Transduction of plasmid-borne antibiotic resistance between the two bacterial genera was demonstrated, consistent with purported ecological roles of phages in dissemination of genes between bacterial genera. Serratia sp. ATCC 39006 and P. agglomerans produce a number of interesting secondary metabolites that have potential applications in cancer therapy and biocontrol of fungal infections. PhiOT8 has utility as a powerful functional genomics tool in these bacteria.
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