Format

Send to

Choose Destination
BMC Microbiol. 2010 Feb 19;10:56. doi: 10.1186/1471-2180-10-56.

Frequency and diversity of small cryptic plasmids in the genus Rahnella.

Author information

1
Max F Perutz Laboratories, University of Vienna, Dr Bohrgasse 9, Vienna, Austria. wilfried.rozhon@univie.ac.at

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Rahnella is a widely distributed genus belonging to the Enterobacteriaceae and frequently present on vegetables. Although Rahnella has interesting agro-economical and industrial properties and several strains possess antibiotic resistances and toxin genes which might spread within microbial communities, little is known about plasmids of this genus. Thus, we isolated a number of Rahnella strains and investigated their complements of small plasmids.

RESULTS:

In total 53 strains were investigated and 11 plasmids observed. Seven belonged to the ColE1 family; one was ColE2-like and three shared homology to rolling circle plasmids. One of them belonged to the pC194/pUB110 family and two showed similarity to poorly characterised plasmid groups. The G+C content of two rolling circle plasmids deviated considerably from that of Rahnella, indicating that their usual hosts might belong to other genera. Most ColE1-like plasmids formed a subgroup within the ColE1 family that seems to be fairly specific for Rahnella. Intriguingly, the multimer resolution sites of all ColE1-like plasmids had the same orientation with respect to the origin of replication. This arrangement might be necessary to prevent inappropriate synthesis of a small regulatory RNA that regulates cell division. Although the ColE1-like plasmids did not possess any mobilisation system, they shared large parts with high sequence identity in coding and non-coding regions. In addition, highly homologous regions of plasmids isolated from Rahnella and the chromosomes of Erwinia tasmaniensis and Photorhabdus luminescens could be identified.

CONCLUSIONS:

For the genus Rahnella we observed plasmid-containing isolates at a frequency of 19%, which is in the average range for Enterobacteriaceae. These plasmids belonged to different groups with members of the ColE1-family most frequently found. Regions of striking sequence homology of plasmids and bacterial chromosomes highlight the importance of plasmids for lateral gene transfer (including chromosomal sequences) to distinct genera.

PMID:
20170524
PMCID:
PMC2831885
DOI:
10.1186/1471-2180-10-56
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for BioMed Central Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center