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Nucleic Acids Res. 2000 May 15;28(10):2177-86.

The complete DNA sequence and analysis of R27, a large IncHI plasmid from Salmonella typhi that is temperature sensitive for transfer.

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Department of Medical Microbiology and Immunology, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada.


Salmonella typhi, the causative agent of typhoid fever, annually infects 16 million people and kills 600 000 world wide. Plasmid-encoded multiple drug resistance in S. typhi is always encoded by plasmids of incompatibility group H (IncH). The complete DNA sequence of the large temperature-sensitive conjugative plasmid R27, the prototype for the IncHI1 family of plasmids, has been compiled and analyzed. This 180 kb plasmid contains 210 open reading frames (ORFs), of which 14 have been previously identified and 56 exhibit similarity to other plasmid and prokaryotic ORFs. A number of insertion elements were found, including the full Tn 10 transposon, which carries tetracycline resistance genes. Two transfer regions, Tra1 and Tra2, are present, which are separated by a minimum of 64 kb. Homologs of the DNA-binding proteins TlpA and H-NS that act as temperature-regulated repressors in other systems have been located in R27. Sequence analysis of transfer and replication regions supports a mosaic-like structure for R27. The genes responsible for conjugation and plasmid maintenance have been identified and mechanisms responsible for thermosensitive transfer are discussed.

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