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FEMS Microbiol Lett. 2003 Apr 11;221(1):53-7.

Characterization of a novel plasmid from extremely halophilic Archaea: nucleotide sequence and function analysis.

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Department of Microbiology, Wuhan University, Wuhan 430072, PR China.


We determined the complete nucleotide sequence of the 16341 bp plasmid pHH205 of the extremely halophilic archaeon Halobacterium salinarum J7. The plasmid has a G+C content of 61.1%. A number of direct and inverted repeat sequences were found in pHH205, while no insertion sequences were found. Thirty-eight large open reading frames (ORFs) were identified in both strands, and most of them had no significant similarities to known proteins. A putative protein encoded by ORF31 showed 20-41% homology to some hypothetical proteins, which are annotated in several archaeal genome databases as predicted nucleic acid-binding proteins containing PIN domain. Sequence analysis using the GC skew procedure predicted a possible origin of replication. A 4.8 kb PvuII-SnaBI fragment containing both this region and ORF31 was shown to be able to restore replicate of pWL102, a replicon-deficient plasmid in Haloferax volcanii and in H. salinarum R1. Several methods failed to completely cure H. salinarum J7 of pHH205, suggesting that the plasmid probably played an important role in the growth and metabolism of the host. Our work describes a novel haloarchaeal replicon, which may be useful in the construction of cloning and shuttle vectors.

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