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Plasmid. 2011 Jul;66(2):112-21. doi: 10.1016/j.plasmid.2011.06.004. Epub 2011 Jul 8.

The genome sequence of the incompatibility group Iγ plasmid R621a: evolution of IncI plasmids.

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Department of Biology, Tokyo Metropolitan University, Hachioji, Tokyo, Japan.


We present the complete genome sequence of the tetracycline resistance plasmid R621a isolated from Salmonella typhimurium, which belongs to the incompatibility group Iγ. In the 93,185bp circular double-stranded R621a genome, 96 complete ORFs are predicted. In addition, one and six different kinds of proteins are produced by translational reinitiation and shufflon multiple inversions, respectively. The genome consists of four regions: replication, leading, transfer, and miscellaneous regions. The R621a genome is similar to those of IncI1 plasmids such as R64 and ColIb-P9 and particularly to those of pEK204 and pEC_Bactec. Three major differences including inc, parAB, and excA regions were noted between R621a and prototype IncI1 plasmids. Seven nucleotide replacements and one nucleotide deletion in the putative Inc RNA sequence are found between R621a and IncI1 plasmids irrespective of close similarity in the other parts of the rep system. The sequences of R621a parAB and excA genes are significantly different from those of R64 and ColIb-P9, while those of R621a parAB and excA genes exhibit close similarity to those of pEK204 and pEC_Bactec, respectively. The R621a genome is suggested to be formed by acquiring parAB and excA genes from pEK204 and pEC_Bactec genomes, respectively, and then novel inc function by the mutations. The insertions in the R621a, pEK204, and pEC_Bactec genomes are flanked by direct repeats, suggesting that insertions accompanied by long target duplications have also played an important role in the evolution of IncI plasmids.

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