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FEMS Microbiol Ecol. 2000 Jun 1;32(3):197-203.

Carbofuran degradation mediated by three related plasmid systems.


Two carbofuran-metabolizing Sphingomonas strains, TA and CD, were isolated from soils with differing histories of exposure to carbofuran. These strains were compared with a previously described strain, Sphingomonas sp. CFO6, with regard to growth rate, formation of metabolites, and plasmid content and structure. Extensive regions of similarity were observed between the three different plasmid systems as evidenced by cross hybridization. In addition, all three systems harbor IS1412, an insertion sequence (IS) element involved in heat-induced loss of carbofuran phenotype in CFO6, and heat-induced carbofuran deficient mutants of all three strains correlated with loss of IS1412. A carbofuran deficient mutant of TA generated by induction of IS elements was complemented by reintroduction of the wild-type plasmid, confirming the presence of genes required for carbofuran metabolism on this plasmid. Carbofuran metabolism in these three strains is clearly linked via plasmids of different numbers and sizes that share extensive common regions, and carbofuran-degrading genes may be associated with active IS elements.

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