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Trends Genet. 2016 Feb;32(2):114-126. doi: 10.1016/j.tig.2015.11.005. Epub 2015 Dec 29.

The Floating (Pathogenicity) Island: A Genomic Dessert.

Author information

1
Department of Medicine, Skirball Institute, New York University Medical School, New York, NY 10016, USA; Department of Microbiology, Skirball Institute, New York University Medical School, New York, NY 10016, USA. Electronic address: richard.novick@med.nyu.edu.
2
Department of Medicine, Skirball Institute, New York University Medical School, New York, NY 10016, USA; Department of Microbiology, Skirball Institute, New York University Medical School, New York, NY 10016, USA.

Abstract

Among the prokaryotic genomic islands (GIs) involved in horizontal gene transfer (HGT) are the classical pathogenicity islands, including the integrative and conjugative elements (ICEs), the gene-transfer agents (GTAs), and the staphylococcal pathogenicity islands (SaPIs), the primary focus of this review. While the ICEs and GTAs mediate HGT autonomously, the SaPIs are dependent on specific phages. The ICEs transfer primarily their own DNA, the GTAs exclusively transfer unlinked host DNA, and the SaPIs combine the capabilities of both. Thus the SaPIs derive their importance from the genes they carry (their genetic cargo) and the genes they move. They act not only as versatile high-frequency mobilizers but also as mediators of phage interference and consequently are major benefactors of their host bacteria.

KEYWORDS:

Staphylococcus; horizontal gene transfer; mobile genetic element; pathogenicity island; phage interference; transduction

PMID:
26744223
PMCID:
PMC4733582
DOI:
10.1016/j.tig.2015.11.005
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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