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J Bacteriol. 2007 Mar;189(6):2443-59. Epub 2006 Dec 28.

Diversity of the abundant pKLC102/PAGI-2 family of genomic islands in Pseudomonas aeruginosa.

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Klinische Forschergruppe, OE 6710, Medizinische Hochschule Hannover, Carl-Neuberg-Str. 1, D-30625 Hannover, Germany.


The known genomic islands of Pseudomonas aeruginosa clone C strains are integrated into tRNA(Lys) (pKLC102) or tRNA(Gly) (PAGI-2 and PAGI-3) genes and differ from their core genomes by distinctive tetranucleotide usage patterns. pKLC102 and the related island PAPI-1 from P. aeruginosa PA14 were spontaneously mobilized from their host chromosomes at frequencies of 10% and 0.3%, making pKLC102 the most mobile genomic island known with a copy number of 30 episomal circular pKLC102 molecules per cell. The incidence of islands of the pKLC102/PAGI-2 type was investigated in 71 unrelated P. aeruginosa strains from diverse habitats and geographic origins. pKLC102- and PAGI-2-like islands were identified in 50 and 31 strains, respectively, and 15 and 10 subtypes were differentiated by hybridization on pKLC102 and PAGI-2 macroarrays. The diversity of PAGI-2-type islands was mainly caused by one large block of strain-specific genes, whereas the diversity of pKLC102-type islands was primarily generated by subtype-specific combination of gene cassettes. Chromosomal loss of PAGI-2 could be documented in sequential P. aeruginosa isolates from individuals with cystic fibrosis. PAGI-2 was present in most tested Cupriavidus metallidurans and Cupriavidus campinensis isolates from polluted environments, demonstrating the spread of PAGI-2 across habitats and species barriers. The pKLC102/PAGI-2 family is prevalent in numerous beta- and gammaproteobacteria and is characterized by high asymmetry of the cDNA strands. This evolutionarily ancient family of genomic islands retained its oligonucleotide signature during horizontal spread within and among taxa.

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