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J Bacteriol. 2004 Jan;186(2):518-34.

Sequence analysis of the mobile genome island pKLC102 of Pseudomonas aeruginosa C.

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Klinische Forschergruppe, OE 6710, Medizinische Hochschule Hannover, D-30625 Hannover, Germany.


The Pseudomonas aeruginosa plasmid pKLC102 coexists as a plasmid and a genome island in clone C strains. Whereas the related plasmid pKLK106 reversibly recombines with P. aeruginosa clone K chromosomes at one of the two tRNA(Lys) genes, pKLC102 is incorporated into the tRNA(Lys) gene only close to the pilA locus. Targeting of the other tRNA(Lys) copy in the chromosome is blocked by a 23,395-bp mosaic of truncated PAO open reading frames, transposons, and pKLC102 homologs. Annotation and phylogenetic analysis of the large 103,532-bp pKLC102 sequence revealed that pKLC102 is a hybrid of plasmid and phage origin. The plasmid lineage conferred oriV and genes for replication, partitioning, and conjugation, including a pil cluster encoding type IV thin sex pili and an 8,524-bp chvB glucan synthetase gene that is known to be a major determinant for host tropism and virulence. The phage lineage conferred integrase, att, and a syntenic set of conserved hypothetical genes also observed in the tRNA(Gly)-associated genome islands of P. aeruginosa clone C chromosomes. In subgroup C isolates from patients with cystic fibrosis, pKLC102 was irreversibly fixed into the chromosome by the insertion of the large 23,061-bp class I transposon TNCP23, which is a composite of plasmid, integron, and IS6100 elements. Intramolecular transposition of a copy of IS6100 led to chromosomal inversions and disruption of plasmid synteny. The case of pKLC102 in P. aeruginosa clone C documents the intraclonal evolution of a genome island from a mobile ancestor via a reversibly integrated state to irreversible incorporation and dissipation in the chromosome.

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