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J Bacteriol. Mar 1991; 173(6): 1958–1964.
PMCID: PMC207727

Structure of the gas vesicle plasmid in Halobacterium halobium: inversion isomers, inverted repeats, and insertion sequences.


Halobacterium-halobium NRC-1 harbors a 200-kb plasmid, pNRC100, which contains a cluster of genes for synthesis of buoyant gas-filled vesicles. Physical mapping of pNRC100 by using pulsed-field gel electrophoresis showed the presence of a large (35 to 38-kb) inverted repeat (IR) sequence. Inversion isomers of pNRC100 were demonstrated by Southern hybridization analysis using two restriction enzymes, AflII and SfiI, that cut asymmetrically within the intervening small single-copy region and the large single-copy region, respectively, but not within the large IRs. No inversion isomers were observed for a deletion derivative of pNRC100 lacking one IR, which suggests that both copies are required for inversion to occur. Additionally, the identities and approximate positions of 17 insertion sequences (IS) in pNRC100 were determined by Southern hybridization and limited nucleotide sequence analysis across the IS element-target site junctions: ISH2, a 0.5-kb element, was found in four copies; ISH3, a 1.4-kb heterogeneous family of elements, was present in seven copies; ISH8, a 1.4-kb element, was found in five copies; and ISH50, a 1.0-kb element, was present in a single copy. The large IRs terminated at an ISH2 element at one end and an ISH3 element at the other end. pNRC100 is similar in structure to chloroplast and mitochondrial genomes, which contain large IRs and other large halobacterial and prokaryotic plasmids that are reservoirs of IS elements but lack the large IRs.

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Selected References

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