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Microbiology. 2014 Mar;160(Pt 3):525-36. doi: 10.1099/mic.0.074369-0. Epub 2014 Jan 17.

A 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid degradation plasmid pM7012 discloses distribution of an unclassified megaplasmid group across bacterial species.

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Environmental Biofunction Division, National Institute for Agro-Environmental Sciences, 3-1-3 Kannondai, Tsukuba, Ibaraki 305-8604, Japan.


Analysis of the complete nucleotide sequence of plasmid pM7012 from 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic-acid (2,4-D)-degrading bacterium Burkholderia sp. M701 revealed that the plasmid had 582 142 bp, with 541 putative protein-coding sequences and 39 putative tRNA genes for the transport of the standard 20 aa. pM7012 contains sequences homologous to the regions involved in conjugal transfer and plasmid maintenance found in plasmids byi_2p from Burkholderia sp. YI23 and pBVIE01 from Burkholderia sp. G4. No relaxase gene was found in any of these plasmids, although genes for a type IV secretion system and type IV coupling proteins were identified. Plasmids with no relaxase gene have been classified as non-mobile plasmids. However, nucleotide sequences with a high level of similarity to the genes for plasmid transfer, plasmid maintenance, 2,4-D degradation and arsenic resistance contained on pM7012 were also detected in eight other megaplasmids (~600 or 900 kb) found in seven Burkholderia strains and a strain of Cupriavidus, which were isolated as 2,4-D-degrading bacteria in Japan and the United States. These results suggested that the 2,4-D degradation megaplasmids related to pM7012 are mobile and distributed across various bacterial species worldwide, and that the plasmid group could be distinguished from known mobile plasmid groups.

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