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J Biotechnol. 2011 Aug 20;155(1):20-33. doi: 10.1016/j.jbiotec.2010.12.018. Epub 2011 Mar 17.

The complete genome sequence of the dominant Sinorhizobium meliloti field isolate SM11 extends the S. meliloti pan-genome.

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Center for Biotechnology (CeBiTec), Bielefeld University, Institute for Genome Research and Systems Biology, Universitätsstr. 27, D-33615 Bielefeld, Germany.


Isolates of the symbiotic nitrogen-fixing species Sinorhizobium meliloti usually contain a chromosome and two large megaplasmids encoding functions that are absolutely required for the specific interaction of the microsymbiont with corresponding host plants leading to an effective symbiosis. The complete genome sequence, including the megaplasmids pSmeSM11c (related to pSymA) and pSmeSM11d (related to pSymB), was established for the dominant, indigenous S. meliloti strain SM11 that had been isolated during a long-term field release experiment with genetically modified S. meliloti strains. The chromosome, the largest replicon of S. meliloti SM11, is 3,908,022bp in size and codes for 3785 predicted protein coding sequences. The size of megaplasmid pSmeSM11c is 1,633,319bp and it contains 1760 predicted protein coding sequences whereas megaplasmid pSmeSM11d is 1,632,395bp in size and comprises 1548 predicted coding sequences. The gene content of the SM11 chromosome is quite similar to that of the reference strain S. meliloti Rm1021. Comparison of pSmeSM11c to pSymA of the reference strain revealed that many gene regions of these replicons are variable, supporting the assessment that pSymA is a major hot-spot for intra-specific differentiation. Plasmids pSymA and pSmeSM11c both encode unique genes. Large gene regions of pSmeSM11c are closely related to corresponding parts of Sinorhizobium medicae WSM419 plasmids. Moreover, pSmeSM11c encodes further novel gene regions, e.g. additional plasmid survival genes (partition, mobilisation and conjugative transfer genes), acdS encoding 1-aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylate deaminase involved in modulation of the phytohormone ethylene level and genes having predicted functions in degradative capabilities, stress response, amino acid metabolism and associated pathways. In contrast to Rm1021 pSymA and pSmeSM11c, megaplasmid pSymB of strain Rm1021 and pSmeSM11d are highly conserved showing extensive synteny with only few rearrangements. Most remarkably, pSmeSM11b contains a new gene cluster predicted to be involved in polysaccharide biosynthesis. Compilation of the S. meliloti SM11 genome sequence contributes to an extension of the S. meliloti pan-genome.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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