Format

Send to

Choose Destination
PLoS One. 2012;7(7):e41259. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0041259. Epub 2012 Jul 23.

Sequencing of IncX-plasmids suggests ubiquity of mobile forms of a biofilm-promoting gene cassette recruited from Klebsiella pneumoniae.

Author information

1
Department of Biology, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark. burmolle@bio.ku.dk

Erratum in

  • PLoS One. 2012;7(8): doi/10.1371/annotation/b1b3cf4b-4aa1-4383-a615-d43eabdfc402.

Abstract

Plasmids are a highly effective means with which genetic traits that influence human health, such as virulence and antibiotic resistance, are disseminated through bacterial populations. The IncX-family is a hitherto sparsely populated group of plasmids that are able to thrive within Enterobacteriaceae. In this study, a replicon-centric screening method was used to locate strains from wastewater sludge containing plasmids belonging to the IncX-family. A transposon aided plasmid capture method was then employed to transport IncX-plasmids from their original hosts (and co-hosted plasmids) into a laboratory strain (Escherichia coli Genehogs®) for further study. The nucleotide sequences of the three newly isolated IncX-plasmids (pLN126_33, pMO17_54, pMO440_54) and the hitherto un-sequenced type-plasmid R485 revealed a remarkable occurrence of whole or partial gene cassettes that promote biofilm-formation in Klebsiella pneumonia or E. coli, in all four instances. Two of the plasmids (R485 and pLN126_33) were shown to directly induce biofilm formation in a crystal violet retention assay in E. coli. Sequence comparison revealed that all plasmid-borne forms of the type 3 fimbriae encoding gene cassette mrkABCDF were variations of a composite transposon Tn6011 first described in the E. coli IncX plasmid pOLA52. In conclusion, IncX-plasmids isolated from Enterobacteriaceae over almost 40 years and on three different continents have all been shown to carry a type 3 fimbriae gene cassette mrkABCDF stemming from pathogenic K. pneumoniae. Apart from contributing general knowledge about IncX-plasmids, this study also suggests an apparent ubiquity of a mobile form of an important virulence factor and is an illuminating example of the recruitment, evolution and dissemination of genetic traits through plasmid-mediated horizontal gene transfer.

PMID:
22844447
PMCID:
PMC3402527
DOI:
10.1371/journal.pone.0041259
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Public Library of Science Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center