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Plasmid. 2004 Sep;52(2):102-18.

Comparative genomics identified two conserved DNA modules in a corynebacterial plasmid family present in clinical isolates of the opportunistic human pathogen Corynebacterium jeikeium.

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1
Institut für Genomforschung, Universität Bielefeld, Universitätsstrasse 25, D-33615 Bielefeld, Germany. Andreas.Tauch@genetik.uni-bielefeld.de

Abstract

Investigation of 62 clinical isolates of the opportunistic human pathogen Corynebacterium jeikeium revealed that 17 possessed plasmids ranging in size from 7.6 to 14.9 kb. The plasmids formed four groups on DNA restriction analysis. The complete nucleotide sequence of a representative from each group (pK43, pK64, pCJ84, and pB85766) was subsequently determined. Additionally, two plasmids (pCo455 and pCo420) were shown to be derivatives of pK43 and pK64 carrying insertion sequences of the IS3 family. Comparative genomics identified a conserved plasmid backbone consisting of two distinct DNA modules. Conserved motifs in the parAB-repA module indicated that the sequenced plasmids from C. jeikeium are new members of the pNG2 family. Recombinant derivatives of pK43 were shown to replicate in the soil bacterium Corynebacterium glutamicum and in the human pathogen Corynebacterium diphtheriae. The second plasmid module most likely encodes a novel type of DNA invertase. The respective gene is flanked by highly conserved 112-bp inverted repeats. All plasmids are 'loaded' with a characteristic set of genes encoding products of unknown function. Plasmids indistinguishable from pK43 by DNA restriction analysis were identified in different C. jeikeium strains, which revealed 16S-23S rDNA spacer length polymorphisms and specific antibiotic susceptibility profiles, implying a wide dissemination of the plasmid in clinical isolates of C. jeikeium.

PMID:
15336488
DOI:
10.1016/j.plasmid.2004.05.003
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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