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Microb Comp Genomics. 1999;4(1):29-46.

Mechanisms of spiroplasma genome variation associated with SpV1-like viral DNA inferred from sequence comparisons.

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Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, USA.


Genomes of Spiroplasma citri strains have rearranged frequently during their evolution, partly due to multiple integrated sequences of spiroplasma viruses. To understand better the role of viral sequences in genome evolution, we examined available nucleotide sequences of viruslike elements in the S. citri chromosome. Comparison of integrated and nonintegrated sequences of spiroplasma virus SpV1-C74 DNA suggested that it is an encapsidated form of the circular transposition intermediate belonging to an insertion sequence (IS3) family member. One SpV1-C74 viral DNA fragment was identified as interrupting the remains of a DNA adenine modification methylase gene. A viral DNA insertion of SpV1-R8A2 B DNA had hallmarks of having suffered an internal deletion by a site-specific recombination system. Homologous recombination likely was responsible for several deletions within viral DNA. A homologous recombination event was inferred between part of a viral DNA insertion and a similar chromosomal sequence. Dispersed sequences from SpV1-like C4 open reading frames (ORFs) were identified as involved in a complex deletion-inversion event. Thus, SpV1-like sequences likely have altered spiroplasma genomes by inserting within active genes, destroying their function, by providing targets for site-specific recombination, by mediating deletions of sequences adjacent to their integration sites, and by providing targets for homologous recombination, leading to inversions.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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