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Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2010 Dec 17;403(3-4):375-9. doi: 10.1016/j.bbrc.2010.11.039. Epub 2010 Nov 13.

Chromosome translocation and its consequence in the genome of Burkholderia cenocepacia AU-1054.

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Key Laboratory for NeuroInformation of Ministry of Education, School of Life Science and Technology, University of Electronic Science and Technology of China, Chengdu 610054, China.


Most bacterial genomes have one single chromosome. The species Burkholderia cenocepacia, a Gram-negative β-proteobacterium, is one of the exceptions. Genomes of four strains of the species have been sequenced and each has three circular chromosomes. In the genus Burkholderia, there are another seven sequenced strains that have three chromosomes. In this paper, the numbers of essential genes and tRNA genes among the 11 strains of the genus Burkholderia are compared. Interestingly, it is found that the shortest chromosome of B. cenocepacia AU-1054 has much (over three times) more essential genes and tRNA genes than the corresponding chromosomes in the other 10 strains. However, no significant difference has been found on the two longer chromosomes among the 11 strains. Non-homologous chromosomal translocation between chromosomes I and III in the species B. cenocepacia is found to be responsible for the unusual distribution of essential genes. The present work may contribute to the understanding of how the secondary chromosomes of multipartite bacterial genomes originate and evolve. The computer program, DEG_match, for comparatively identifying essential genes in any annotated bacterial genomes is freely available at

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