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Res Microbiol. 2012 Jan;163(1):36-43. doi: 10.1016/j.resmic.2011.10.006. Epub 2011 Oct 13.

Comparative analysis of the complete genome of an Acinetobacter calcoaceticus strain adapted to a phenol-polluted environment.

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Biotechnology Research Institute, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Key Laboratory of Crop Biotechnology, Ministry of Agriculture, Beijing 100081, China.


The complete genome sequence of Acinetobacter calcoaceticus PHEA-2, a non-pathogenic phenol-degrading bacterium previously isolated from industrial wastewater of an oil refinery in China, has been established. This is the first sequence of an A. calcoaceticus strain. We report here a comparative genomic analysis of PHEA-2 with two other Acinetobacter species having different lifestyles, Acinetobacter baumannii AYE, a pathogenic human-adapted strain, and Acinetobacter baylyi ADP1, a soil-living strain. For a long time, A. calcoaceticus could not be easily distinguished from A. baumannii strains. Indeed, whole-genome comparison revealed high synteny between A. calcoaceticus and A. baumannii genomes, but most genes for multiple drug resistance as well as those presumably involved in pathogenicity were not present in the PHEA-2 genome and phylogenetic analysis showed that A. calcoaceticus differed from A. baumannii antibiotic-susceptible strains. It also revealed that many genes associated with environmental adaptation were acquired by horizontal gene transfer, including an 8-kb phenol degradation gene cluster. A relatively higher proportion of transport-related proteins were found in PHEA-2 than in ADP1 and AYE. Overall, these findings highlight the remarkable capacity of A. calcoaceticus PHEA-2 to effectively adapt to a phenol-polluted wastewater environment.

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