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Arch Microbiol. 2010 Feb;192(2):115-26. doi: 10.1007/s00203-009-0535-2. Epub 2009 Dec 29.

Genome organisation of the marine Roseobacter clade member Marinovum algicola.

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German Collection of Microorganisms and Cell Cultures, Inhoffenstrasse 7 B, 38124, Braunschweig, Germany.


The Roseobacter clade, belonging to the family Rhodobacteraceae of the class Alphaproteobacteria, is one of the major bacterial groups in marine environments. A remarkable wealth of diverse large plasmids has been detected in members of this lineage. Here, we analysed the genome structure and extrachromosomal DNA content of four strains of the roseobacter species Marinovum algicola by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis. They were originally isolated from toxic dinoflagellates and possess multireplicon genomes with sizes between 5.20 and 5.35 Mb. In addition to the single circular chromosomes (3.60-3.74 Mb), whose organisation seem to be conserved, 9 to 12 extrachromosomal replicons have been detected for each strain. This number is unprecedented for roseobacters and proposes a sophisticated regulation of replication and partitioning to ensure stable maintenance. The plasmid lengths range from 7 to 477 kb and our analyses document a circular conformation for all but one of them, which might represent a linear plasmid-like prophage. In striking contrast to other roseobacters, up to one-third of the genomic information (1.75 Mb) is plasmid borne in Marinovum algicola. The plasmid patterns of some strains are conspicuously different, indicating that recombination and conjugative gene transfer are dominant mechanisms for microevolution within the Roseobacter clade.

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