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Plasmid. 2011 Oct;66(1):7-18. doi: 10.1016/j.plasmid.2011.03.002. Epub 2011 Mar 21.

Nucleotide sequence of Pseudomonas aeruginosa conjugative plasmid pUM505 containing virulence and heavy-metal resistance genes.

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Instituto de Investigaciones Químico-Biológicas, Universidad Michoacana, Morelia, Michoacán, Mexico.


We determined the complete nucleotide sequence of conjugative plasmid pUM505 isolated from a clinical strain of Pseudomonas aeruginosa. The plasmid had a length of 123,322bp and contained 138 complete coding regions, including 46% open reading frames encoding hypothetical proteins. pUM505 can be considered a hybrid plasmid because it presents two well-defined regions. The first region corresponded to a larger DNA segment with homology to a pathogenicity island from virulent Pseudomonas strains; this island in pUM505 was comprised of genes probably involved in virulence and genes encoding proteins implicated in replication, maintenance and plasmid transfer. Sequence analysis identified pil genes encoding a type IV secretion system, establishing pUM505 as a member of the family of IncI1 plasmids. Plasmid pUM505 also contained virB4/virD4 homologues, which are linked to virulence in other plasmids. The second region, smaller in length, contains inorganic mercury and chromate resistance gene clusters both flanked by putative mobile elements. Although no genes for antibiotic resistance were identified, when pUM505 was transferred to a recipient strain of P. aeruginosa it conferred resistance to the fluoroquinolone ciprofloxacin. pUM505 also conferred resistance to the superoxide radical generator paraquat. pUM505 could provide Pseudomonas strains with a wide variety of adaptive traits such as virulence, heavy-metal and antibiotic resistance and oxidative stress tolerance which can be selective factors for the distribution and prevalence of this plasmid in diverse environments, including hospitals and heavy metal contaminated soils.

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