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Sci Rep. 2018 May 17;8(1):7783. doi: 10.1038/s41598-018-26180-3.

Comparative genomic analysis of Acinetobacter spp. plasmids originating from clinical settings and environmental habitats.

Author information

1
IBBM (Instituto de Biotecnología y Biología Molecular), CCT-CONICET-La Plata, Departamento de Ciencias Biológicas, Facultad de Ciencias Exactas, Universidad Nacional de La Plata, Calles 47 y 115 (1900), La Plata, Argentina.
2
Center for Biotechnology (CeBiTec), Bielefeld University, Genome Research of Industrial Microorganisms, Universitätsstr. 27, D-33615, Bielefeld, Germany.
3
IBBM (Instituto de Biotecnología y Biología Molecular), CCT-CONICET-La Plata, Departamento de Ciencias Biológicas, Facultad de Ciencias Exactas, Universidad Nacional de La Plata, Calles 47 y 115 (1900), La Plata, Argentina. pistorio@biol.unlp.edu.ar.

Abstract

Bacteria belonging to the genus Acinetobacter have become of clinical importance over the last decade due to the development of a multi-resistant phenotype and their ability to survive under multiple environmental conditions. The development of these traits among Acinetobacter strains occurs frequently as a result of plasmid-mediated horizontal gene transfer. In this work, plasmids from nosocomial and environmental Acinetobacter spp. collections were separately sequenced and characterized. Assembly of the sequenced data resulted in 19 complete replicons in the nosocomial collection and 77 plasmid contigs in the environmental collection. Comparative genomic analysis showed that many of them had conserved backbones. Plasmid coding sequences corresponding to plasmid specific functions were bioinformatically and functionally analyzed. Replication initiation protein analysis revealed the predominance of the Rep_3 superfamily. The phylogenetic tree constructed from all Acinetobacter Rep_3 superfamily plasmids showed 16 intermingled clades originating from nosocomial and environmental habitats. Phylogenetic analysis of relaxase proteins revealed the presence of a new sub-clade named MOBQAci, composed exclusively of Acinetobacter relaxases. Functional analysis of proteins belonging to this group showed that they behaved differently when mobilized using helper plasmids belonging to different incompatibility groups.

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