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Kai Chen, 
Xihui Xu, 
Long Zhang, 
Zhenjiu Gou, 
Shunpeng Li, 
Shiri Freilich, 
Jiandong Jiang

Comamonas plasmids play important roles in shaping the phenotypes of their hosts and the adaptation of these hosts to changing environments, and understanding the evolutionary strategy of these plasmids is thus of great concern. In this study, the sequence of the 119-kb 3,5-dibromo-4-hydroxybenzonitrile-catabolizing plasmid pBHB from Comamonas sp. strain 7D-2 was studied and compared with three other Comamonas haloaromatic catabolic plasmids. Incompatibility group determination based on a phylogenetic analysis of 24 backbone gene proteins as well as TrfA revealed that these four plasmids all belong to the IncP-1β subgroup. A comparison of the four plasmids revealed a conserved backbone region and diverse genetic load regions. These four plasmids share a core genome consisting of 40 genes (> 50% similarities) and contain 12-50 unique genes each, most of which are xenobiotic-catabolic genes. Two functional reductive dehalogenase gene clusters are specifically located on pBHB, showing a distinctive evolution of pBHB for haloaromatics. The higher catabolic ability of the bhbA2B2 cluster compared with the bhbAB cluster may be due to the transcription levels and the character of the dehalogenase gene itself instead of its extracytoplasmic binding receptor gene. The plasmid pBHB is riddled with transposons and insertion sequence (IS) elements, and ISs play important roles in the evolution of pBHB. The analysis of the origin of the bhb genes on pBHB suggested that these accessary genes evolved independently. Our work provides insights into the evolutionary strategies of Comamonas plasmids, especially into the adaptation mechanism employed by pBHB for haloaromatics.

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Plasmidome comparison of four Comamonas catabolic plasmids reveals the evolution of pBHB for haloaromatics catabolism

Kai Chen, 
Xihui Xu, 
Long Zhang, 
Zhenjiu Gou, 
Shunpeng Li, 
Shiri Freilich, 
Jiandong Jiang

Plasmidome comparison of four Comamonas catabolic plasmids reveals the evolution of pBHB for haloaromatics catabolism

Comamonas plasmids play important roles in shaping the phenotypes of their hosts and the adaptation of these hosts to changing environments, and understanding the evolutionary strategy of these plasmids is thus of great concern. In this study, the sequence of the 119-kb 3,5-dibromo-4-hydroxybenzonitrile-catabolizing plasmid pBHB from Comamonas sp. strain 7D-2 was studied and compared with three other Comamonas haloaromatic catabolic plasmids. Incompatibility group determination based on a phylogenetic analysis of 24 backbone gene proteins as well as TrfA revealed that these four plasmids all belong to the IncP-1β subgroup. A comparison of the four plasmids revealed a conserved backbone region and diverse genetic load regions. These four plasmids share a core genome consisting of 40 genes (> 50% similarities) and contain 12-50 unique genes each, most of which are xenobiotic-catabolic genes. Two functional reductive dehalogenase gene clusters are specifically located on pBHB, showing a distinctive evolution of pBHB for haloaromatics. The higher catabolic ability of the bhbA2B2 cluster compared with the bhbAB cluster may be due to the transcription levels and the character of the dehalogenase gene itself instead of its extracytoplasmic binding receptor gene. The plasmid pBHB is riddled with transposons and insertion sequence (IS) elements, and ISs play important roles in the evolution of pBHB. The analysis of the origin of the bhb genes on pBHB suggested that these accessary genes evolved independently. Our work provides insights into the evolutionary strategies of Comamonas plasmids, especially into the adaptation mechanism employed by pBHB for haloaromatics.

Scientific Publication
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