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Genomics. 2008 Nov;92(5):339-43. doi: 10.1016/j.ygeno.2008.07.010. Epub 2008 Sep 4.

Evolution of genes on the Salmonella Virulence plasmid phylogeny revealed from sequencing of the virulence plasmids of S. enterica serotype Dublin and comparative analysis.

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Department of Microbiology and Immunology, National Chiayi University, Chiayi, Taiwan.


Salmonella enterica serotype Dublin harbors an approximately 80-kb virulence plasmid (pSDV), which mediates systemic infection in cattle. There are two types of pSDV: one is pSDVu (pOU1113) in strain OU7025 and the other pSDVr (pOU1115) in OU7409 (SD Lane) and many clinical isolates. Sequence analysis showed that pSDVr was a recombinant plasmid (co-integrate) of pSDVu and a plasmid similar to a 35-kb indigenous plasmid (pOU1114) of S. Dublin. Most of the F-transfer region in pSDVu was replaced by a DNA segment from the pOU1114-like plasmid containing an extra replicon and a pilX operon encoding for a type IV secretion system to form pSDVr. We reconstructed the particular evolutionary history of the seven virulence plasmids of Salmonella by comparative sequence analysis. The whole evolutionary process might begin with two different F-like plasmids (IncFI and IncFII), which then incorporated the spv operon and fimbriae operon from the chromosome to form the primitive virulence plasmids. Subsequently, these plasmids descended by deletion from a relatively large plasmid to smaller ones, with some recombination events occurring over time. Our results suggest that the phylogeny of virulence plasmids as a result of frequent recombination provides the opportunity for rapid evolution of Salmonella in response to the environmental cues.

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