Francisella philomiragia is a saprophytic gammaproteobacterium found only occasionally in immunocompromised individuals and is the nearest neighbor to the causative agent of tularemia and category A select agent Francisella tularensis. To shed insight into the key genetic differences and the evolution of these two distinct lineages, we sequenced the first complete genome of F. philomiragia strain ATCC 25017, which was isolated as a free-living microorganism from water in Bear River Refuge, Utah.
Comparison of genome-wide, high-resolution restriction maps of Klebsiella pneumoniae clinical isolates, including an NDM-1 producer, and in silico-generated restriction maps of sequenced genomes revealed a highly heterogeneous region we designated the “high heterogeneity zone” (HHZ). The HHZ consists of several regions including a “hot spot” prone to insertions and other rearrangements. The HHZ is a characteristic genomic area that can be used in the identification and tracking of outbreak-causing strains.
Klebsiella pneumoniae; Genomic analysis; optical map; NDM-1; ICE
We describe the draft genome sequence of Pseudomonas putida strain LS46, a novel isolate that synthesizes medium-chain-length polyhydroxyalkanoates. The draft genome of P. putida LS46 consists of approximately 5.86 million bp, with a G+C content of 61.69%. A total of 5,316 annotated genes and 5,219 coding sequences (CDS) were identified.
Kingella kingae is a human oral bacterium that can cause infections of the skeletal system in children. The bacterium is also a cardiovascular pathogen causing infective endocarditis in children and adults. We report herein the draft genome sequence of septic arthritis K. kingae strain PYKK081.
The Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico resulted in a deep-sea hydrocarbon plume that caused a shift in the indigenous microbial community composition with unknown ecological consequences. Early in the spill history, a bloom of uncultured, thus uncharacterized, members of the Oceanospirillales was previously detected, but their role in oil disposition was unknown. Here our aim was to determine the functional role of the Oceanospirillales and other active members of the indigenous microbial community using deep sequencing of community DNA and RNA, as well as single-cell genomics. Shotgun metagenomic and metatranscriptomic sequencing revealed that genes for motility, chemotaxis and aliphatic hydrocarbon degradation were significantly enriched and expressed in the hydrocarbon plume samples compared with uncontaminated seawater collected from plume depth. In contrast, although genes coding for degradation of more recalcitrant compounds, such as benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, total xylenes and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, were identified in the metagenomes, they were expressed at low levels, or not at all based on analysis of the metatranscriptomes. Isolation and sequencing of two Oceanospirillales single cells revealed that both cells possessed genes coding for n-alkane and cycloalkane degradation. Specifically, the near-complete pathway for cyclohexane oxidation in the Oceanospirillales single cells was elucidated and supported by both metagenome and metatranscriptome data. The draft genome also included genes for chemotaxis, motility and nutrient acquisition strategies that were also identified in the metagenomes and metatranscriptomes. These data point towards a rapid response of members of the Oceanospirillales to aliphatic hydrocarbons in the deep sea.
Gulf oil spill; Deepwater Horizon; Oceanospirillales; single-cell genomics; metagenomics; metatranscriptomics
The filamentous cyanobacterium Microcoleus vaginatusis found in arid land soils worldwide. The genome of M. vaginatusstrain FGP-2 allows exploration of genes involved in photosynthesis, desiccation tolerance, alkane production, and other features contributing to this organism's ability to function as a major component of biological soil crusts in arid lands.
Ochrobactrum anthropi is a common soil alphaproteobacterium that colonizes a wide spectrum of organisms and is being increasingly recognized as an opportunistic human pathogen. Potentially life-threatening infections, such as endocarditis, are included in the list of reported O. anthropi infections. These reports, together with the scant number of studies and the organism's phylogenetic proximity to the highly pathogenic brucellae, make O. anthropi an attractive model of bacterial pathogenicity. Here we report the genome sequence of the type strain O. anthropi ATCC 49188, which revealed the presence of two chromosomes and four plasmids.
Burkholderia phytofirmans PsJNT is able to efficiently colonize the rhizosphere, root, and above-ground plant tissues of a wide variety of genetically unrelated plants, such as potatoes, canola, maize, and grapevines. Strain PsJN shows strong plant growth-promoting effects and was reported to enhance plant vigor and resistance to biotic and abiotic stresses. Here, we report the genome sequence of this strain, which indicates the presence of multiple traits relevant for endophytic colonization and plant growth promotion.
The human gastrointestinal tract contains a complex community of microbes, fulfilling important health-promoting functions. However, this vast complexity of species hampers the assignment of responsible organisms to these functions. Recently, Akkermansia muciniphila, a new species from the deeply branched phylum Verrucomicrobia, was isolated from the human intestinal tract based on its capacity to efficiently use mucus as a carbon and nitrogen source. This anaerobic resident is associated with the protective mucus lining of the intestines.
In order to uncover the functional potential of A. muciniphila, its genome was sequenced and annotated. It was found to contain numerous candidate mucinase-encoding genes, but lacking genes encoding canonical mucus-binding domains. Numerous phage-associated sequences found throughout the genome indicate that viruses have played an important part in the evolution of this species. Furthermore, we mined 37 GI tract metagenomes for the presence, and genetic diversity of Akkermansia sequences. Out of 37, eleven contained 16S ribosomal RNA gene sequences that are >95% identical to that of A. muciniphila. In addition, these libraries were found to contain large amounts of Akkermansia DNA based on average nucleotide identity scores, which indicated in one subject co-colonization by different Akkermansia phylotypes. An additional 12 libraries also contained Akkermansia sequences, making a total of ∼16 Mbp of new Akkermansia pangenomic DNA. The relative abundance of Akkermansia DNA varied between <0.01% to nearly 4% of the assembled metagenomic reads. Finally, by testing a large collection of full length 16S sequences, we find at least eight different representative species in the genus Akkermansia.
These large repositories allow us to further mine for genetic heterogeneity and species diversity in the genus Akkermansia, providing novel insight towards the functionality of this abundant inhabitant of the human intestinal tract.
The cryptomonads are a group of unicellular algae that acquired photosynthesis through the engulfment of a red algal cell, a process called secondary endosymbiosis. Here, we present the complete plastid genome sequence of the secondarily nonphotosynthetic species Cryptomonas paramecium CCAP977/2a. The ∼78 kilobase pair (Kbp) C. paramecium genome contains 82 predicted protein genes, 29 transfer RNA genes, and a single pseudogene (atpF). The C. paramecium plastid genome is approximately 50 Kbp smaller than those of the photosynthetic cryptomonads Guillardia theta and Rhodomonas salina; 71 genes present in the G. theta and/or R. salina plastid genomes are missing in C. paramecium. The pet, psa, and psb photosynthetic gene families are almost entirely absent. Interestingly, the ribosomal RNA operon, present as inverted repeats in most plastid genomes (including G. theta and R. salina), exists as a single copy in C. paramecium. The G + C content (38%) is higher in C. paramecium than in other cryptomonad plastid genomes, and C. paramecium plastid genes are characterized by significantly different codon usage patterns and increased evolutionary rates. The content and structure of the C. paramecium plastid genome provides insight into the changes associated with recent loss of photosynthesis in a predominantly photosynthetic group of algae and reveals features shared with the plastid genomes of other secondarily nonphotosynthetic eukaryotes.
cryptomonads; plastids; genome reduction; photosynthesis; secondary endosymbiosis
Brucellae are worldwide bacterial pathogens of livestock and wildlife, but phylogenetic reconstructions have been challenging due to limited genetic diversity. We assessed the taxonomic and evolutionary relationships of five Brucella species—Brucella abortus, B. melitensis, B. suis, B. canis, and B. ovis—using whole-genome comparisons. We developed a phylogeny using single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) from 13 genomes and rooted the tree using the closely related soil bacterium and opportunistic human pathogen, Ochrobactrum anthropi. Whole-genome sequencing and a SNP-based approach provided the requisite level of genetic detail to resolve species in the highly conserved brucellae. Comparisons among the Brucella genomes revealed 20,154 orthologous SNPs that were shared in all genomes. Rooting with Ochrobactrum anthropi reveals that the B. ovis lineage is basal to the rest of the Brucella lineage. We found that B. suis is a highly divergent clade with extensive intraspecific genetic diversity. Furthermore, B. suis was determined to be paraphyletic in our analyses, only forming a monophyletic clade when the B. canis genome was included. Using a molecular clock with these data suggests that most Brucella species diverged from their common B. ovis ancestor in the past 86,000 to 296,000 years, which precedes the domestication of their livestock hosts. Detailed knowledge of the Brucella phylogeny will lead to an improved understanding of the ecology, evolutionary history, and host relationships for this genus and can be used for determining appropriate genotyping approaches for rapid detection and diagnostic assays for molecular epidemiological and clinical studies.
Elongation factor Tu (EF-Tu), encoded by tuf genes, carries aminoacyl-tRNA to the ribosome during protein synthesis. Duplicated tuf genes (tufA and tufB), which are commonly found in enterobacterial species, usually coevolve via gene conversion and are very similar to one another. However, sequence analysis of tuf genes in our laboratory has revealed highly divergent copies in 72 strains spanning the genus Yersinia (representing 12 Yersinia species). The levels of intragenomic divergence between tufA and tufB sequences ranged from 8.3 to 16.2% for the genus Yersinia, which is significantly greater than the 0.0 to 3.6% divergence observed for other enterobacterial genera. We further explored tuf gene evolution in Yersinia and other Enterobacteriaceae by performing directed sequencing and phylogenetic analyses. Phylogenetic trees constructed using concatenated tufA and tufB sequences revealed a monophyletic genus Yersinia in the family Enterobacteriaceae. Moreover, Yersinia strains form clades within the genus that mostly correlate with their phenotypic and genetic classifications. These genetic analyses revealed an unusual divergence between Yersinia tufA and tufB sequences, a feature unique among sequenced Enterobacteriaceae and indicative of a genus-wide loss of gene conversion. Furthermore, they provided valuable phylogenetic information for possible reclassification and identification of Yersinia species.
The complete genome of the ammonia-oxidizing bacterium Nitrosospira multiformis (ATCC 25196T) consists of a circular chromosome and three small plasmids totaling 3,234,309 bp and encoding 2,827 putative proteins. Of the 2,827 putative proteins, 2,026 proteins have predicted functions and 801 are without conserved functional domains, yet 747 of these have similarity to other predicted proteins in databases. Gene homologs from Nitrosomonas europaea and Nitrosomonas eutropha were the best match for 42% of the predicted genes in N. multiformis. The N. multiformis genome contains three nearly identical copies of amo and hao gene clusters as large repeats. The features of N. multiformis that distinguish it from N. europaea include the presence of gene clusters encoding urease and hydrogenase, a ribulose-bisphosphate carboxylase/oxygenase-encoding operon of distinctive structure and phylogeny, and a relatively small complement of genes related to Fe acquisition. Systems for synthesis of a pyoverdine-like siderophore and for acyl-homoserine lactone were unique to N. multiformis among the sequenced genomes of ammonia-oxidizing bacteria. Gene clusters encoding proteins associated with outer membrane and cell envelope functions, including transporters, porins, exopolysaccharide synthesis, capsule formation, and protein sorting/export, were abundant. Numerous sensory transduction and response regulator gene systems directed toward sensing of the extracellular environment are described. Gene clusters for glycogen, polyphosphate, and cyanophycin storage and utilization were identified, providing mechanisms for meeting energy requirements under substrate-limited conditions. The genome of N. multiformis encodes the core pathways for chemolithoautotrophy along with adaptations for surface growth and survival in soil environments.
The alphaproteobacterium Nitrobacter hamburgensis X14 is a gram-negative facultative chemolithoautotroph that conserves energy from the oxidation of nitrite to nitrate. Sequencing and analysis of the Nitrobacter hamburgensis X14 genome revealed four replicons comprised of one chromosome (4.4 Mbp) and three plasmids (294, 188, and 121 kbp). Over 20% of the genome is composed of pseudogenes and paralogs. Whole-genome comparisons were conducted between N. hamburgensis and the finished and draft genome sequences of Nitrobacter winogradskyi and Nitrobacter sp. strain Nb-311A, respectively. Most of the plasmid-borne genes were unique to N. hamburgensis and encode a variety of functions (central metabolism, energy conservation, conjugation, and heavy metal resistance), yet ∼21 kb of a ∼28-kb “autotrophic” island on the largest plasmid was conserved in the chromosomes of Nitrobacter winogradskyi Nb-255 and Nitrobacter sp. strain Nb-311A. The N. hamburgensis chromosome also harbors many unique genes, including those for heme-copper oxidases, cytochrome b561, and putative pathways for the catabolism of aromatic, organic, and one-carbon compounds, which help verify and extend its mixotrophic potential. A Nitrobacter “subcore” genome was also constructed by removing homologs found in strains of the closest evolutionary relatives, Bradyrhizobium japonicum and Rhodopseudomonas palustris. Among the Nitrobacter subcore inventory (116 genes), copies of genes or gene clusters for nitrite oxidoreductase (NXR), cytochromes associated with a dissimilatory nitrite reductase (NirK), PII-like regulators, and polysaccharide formation were identified. Many of the subcore genes have diverged significantly from, or have origins outside, the alphaproteobacterial lineage and may indicate some of the unique genetic requirements for nitrite oxidation in Nitrobacter.
Sulfur-oxidizing epsilonproteobacteria are common in a variety of sulfidogenic environments. These autotrophic and mixotrophic sulfur-oxidizing bacteria are believed to contribute substantially to the oxidative portion of the global sulfur cycle. In order to better understand the ecology and roles of sulfur-oxidizing epsilonproteobacteria, in particular those of the widespread genus Sulfurimonas, in biogeochemical cycles, the genome of Sulfurimonas denitrificans DSM1251 was sequenced. This genome has many features, including a larger size (2.2 Mbp), that suggest a greater degree of metabolic versatility or responsiveness to the environment than seen for most of the other sequenced epsilonproteobacteria. A branched electron transport chain is apparent, with genes encoding complexes for the oxidation of hydrogen, reduced sulfur compounds, and formate and the reduction of nitrate and oxygen. Genes are present for a complete, autotrophic reductive citric acid cycle. Many genes are present that could facilitate growth in the spatially and temporally heterogeneous sediment habitat from where Sulfurimonas denitrificans was originally isolated. Many resistance-nodulation-development family transporter genes (10 total) are present; of these, several are predicted to encode heavy metal efflux transporters. An elaborate arsenal of sensory and regulatory protein-encoding genes is in place, as are genes necessary to prevent and respond to oxidative stress.
Methylibium petroleiphilum PM1 is a methylotroph distinguished by its ability to completely metabolize the fuel oxygenate methyl tert-butyl ether (MTBE). Strain PM1 also degrades aromatic (benzene, toluene, and xylene) and straight-chain (C5 to C12) hydrocarbons present in petroleum products. Whole-genome analysis of PM1 revealed an ∼4-Mb circular chromosome and an ∼600-kb megaplasmid, containing 3,831 and 646 genes, respectively. Aromatic hydrocarbon and alkane degradation, metal resistance, and methylotrophy are encoded on the chromosome. The megaplasmid contains an unusual t-RNA island, numerous insertion sequences, and large repeated elements, including a 40-kb region also present on the chromosome and a 29-kb tandem repeat encoding phosphonate transport and cobalamin biosynthesis. The megaplasmid also codes for alkane degradation and was shown to play an essential role in MTBE degradation through plasmid-curing experiments. Discrepancies between the insertion sequence element distribution patterns, the distributions of best BLASTP hits among major phylogenetic groups, and the G+C contents of the chromosome (69.2%) and plasmid (66%), together with comparative genome hybridization experiments, suggest that the plasmid was recently acquired and apparently carries the genetic information responsible for PM1's ability to degrade MTBE. Comparative genomic hybridization analysis with two PM1-like MTBE-degrading environmental isolates (∼99% identical 16S rRNA gene sequences) showed that the plasmid was highly conserved (ca. 99% identical), whereas the chromosomes were too diverse to conduct resequencing analysis. PM1's genome sequence provides a foundation for investigating MTBE biodegradation and exploring the genetic regulation of multiple biodegradation pathways in M. petroleiphilum and other MTBE-degrading beta-proteobacteria.
The gammaproteobacterium Nitrosococcus oceani (ATCC 19707) is a gram-negative obligate chemolithoautotroph capable of extracting energy and reducing power from the oxidation of ammonia to nitrite. Sequencing and annotation of the genome revealed a single circular chromosome (3,481,691 bp; G+C content of 50.4%) and a plasmid (40,420 bp) that contain 3,052 and 41 candidate protein-encoding genes, respectively. The genes encoding proteins necessary for the function of known modes of lithotrophy and autotrophy were identified. Contrary to betaproteobacterial nitrifier genomes, the N. oceani genome contained two complete rrn operons. In contrast, only one copy of the genes needed to synthesize functional ammonia monooxygenase and hydroxylamine oxidoreductase, as well as the proteins that relay the extracted electrons to a terminal electron acceptor, were identified. The N. oceani genome contained genes for 13 complete two-component systems. The genome also contained all the genes needed to reconstruct complete central pathways, the tricarboxylic acid cycle, and the Embden-Meyerhof-Parnass and pentose phosphate pathways. The N. oceani genome contains the genes required to store and utilize energy from glycogen inclusion bodies and sucrose. Polyphosphate and pyrophosphate appear to be integrated in this bacterium's energy metabolism, stress tolerance, and ability to assimilate carbon via gluconeogenesis. One set of genes for type I ribulose-1,5-bisphosphate carboxylase/oxygenase was identified, while genes necessary for methanotrophy and for carboxysome formation were not identified. The N. oceani genome contains two copies each of the genes or operons necessary to assemble functional complexes I and IV as well as ATP synthase (one H+-dependent F0F1 type, one Na+-dependent V type).
Presented here is the complete genome sequence of Thiomicrospira crunogena XCL-2, representative of ubiquitous chemolithoautotrophic sulfur-oxidizing bacteria isolated from deep-sea hydrothermal vents. This gammaproteobacterium has a single chromosome (2,427,734 base pairs), and its genome illustrates many of the adaptations that have enabled it to thrive at vents globally. It has 14 methyl-accepting chemotaxis protein genes, including four that may assist in positioning it in the redoxcline. A relative abundance of coding sequences (CDSs) encoding regulatory proteins likely control the expression of genes encoding carboxysomes, multiple dissolved inorganic nitrogen and phosphate transporters, as well as a phosphonate operon, which provide this species with a variety of options for acquiring these substrates from the environment. Thiom. crunogena XCL-2 is unusual among obligate sulfur-oxidizing bacteria in relying on the Sox system for the oxidation of reduced sulfur compounds. The genome has characteristics consistent with an obligately chemolithoautotrophic lifestyle, including few transporters predicted to have organic allocrits, and Calvin-Benson-Bassham cycle CDSs scattered throughout the genome.
Secrets of the deep are revealed from the genome sequence ofThiomicrospira crunogena XCL-2, a chemolithoautotrophic sulfur-oxidizing gammaproteobacterium isolated from deep-sea hydrothermal vents.
Yersinia pestis, the causative agent of bubonic and pneumonic plagues, has undergone detailed study at the molecular level. To further investigate the genomic diversity among this group and to help characterize lineages of the plague organism that have no sequenced members, we present here the genomes of two isolates of the “classical” antiqua biovar, strains Antiqua and Nepal516. The genomes of Antiqua and Nepal516 are 4.7 Mb and 4.5 Mb and encode 4,138 and 3,956 open reading frames, respectively. Though both strains belong to one of the three classical biovars, they represent separate lineages defined by recent phylogenetic studies. We compare all five currently sequenced Y. pestis genomes and the corresponding features in Yersinia pseudotuberculosis. There are strain-specific rearrangements, insertions, deletions, single nucleotide polymorphisms, and a unique distribution of insertion sequences. We found 453 single nucleotide polymorphisms in protein-coding regions, which were used to assess the evolutionary relationships of these Y. pestis strains. Gene reduction analysis revealed that the gene deletion processes are under selective pressure, and many of the inactivations are probably related to the organism's interaction with its host environment. The results presented here clearly demonstrate the differences between the two biovar antiqua lineages and support the notion that grouping Y. pestis strains based strictly on the classical definition of biovars (predicated upon two biochemical assays) does not accurately reflect the phylogenetic relationships within this species. A comparison of four virulent Y. pestis strains with the human-avirulent strain 91001 provides further insight into the genetic basis of virulence to humans.
The alphaproteobacterium Nitrobacter winogradskyi (ATCC 25391) is a gram-negative facultative chemolithoautotroph capable of extracting energy from the oxidation of nitrite to nitrate. Sequencing and analysis of its genome revealed a single circular chromosome of 3,402,093 bp encoding 3,143 predicted proteins. There were extensive similarities to genes in two alphaproteobacteria, Bradyrhizobium japonicum USDA110 (1,300 genes) and Rhodopseudomonas palustris CGA009 CG (815 genes). Genes encoding pathways for known modes of chemolithotrophic and chemoorganotrophic growth were identified. Genes encoding multiple enzymes involved in anapleurotic reactions centered on C2 to C4 metabolism, including a glyoxylate bypass, were annotated. The inability of N. winogradskyi to grow on C6 molecules is consistent with the genome sequence, which lacks genes for complete Embden-Meyerhof and Entner-Doudoroff pathways, and active uptake of sugars. Two gene copies of the nitrite oxidoreductase, type I ribulose-1,5-bisphosphate carboxylase/oxygenase, cytochrome c oxidase, and gene homologs encoding an aerobic-type carbon monoxide dehydrogenase were present. Similarity of nitrite oxidoreductases to respiratory nitrate reductases was confirmed. Approximately 10% of the N. winogradskyi genome codes for genes involved in transport and secretion, including the presence of transporters for various organic-nitrogen molecules. The N. winogradskyi genome provides new insight into the phylogenetic identity and physiological capabilities of nitrite-oxidizing bacteria. The genome will serve as a model to study the cellular and molecular processes that control nitrite oxidation and its interaction with other nitrogen-cycling processes.
The complete genome sequence of Thiobacillus denitrificans ATCC 25259 is the first to become available for an obligately chemolithoautotrophic, sulfur-compound-oxidizing, β-proteobacterium. Analysis of the 2,909,809-bp genome will facilitate our molecular and biochemical understanding of the unusual metabolic repertoire of this bacterium, including its ability to couple denitrification to sulfur-compound oxidation, to catalyze anaerobic, nitrate-dependent oxidation of Fe(II) and U(IV), and to oxidize mineral electron donors. Notable genomic features include (i) genes encoding c-type cytochromes totaling 1 to 2 percent of the genome, which is a proportion greater than for almost all bacterial and archaeal species sequenced to date, (ii) genes encoding two [NiFe]hydrogenases, which is particularly significant because no information on hydrogenases has previously been reported for T. denitrificans and hydrogen oxidation appears to be critical for anaerobic U(IV) oxidation by this species, (iii) a diverse complement of more than 50 genes associated with sulfur-compound oxidation (including sox genes, dsr genes, and genes associated with the AMP-dependent oxidation of sulfite to sulfate), some of which occur in multiple (up to eight) copies, (iv) a relatively large number of genes associated with inorganic ion transport and heavy metal resistance, and (v) a paucity of genes encoding organic-compound transporters, commensurate with obligate chemolithoautotrophy. Ultimately, the genome sequence of T. denitrificans will enable elucidation of the mechanisms of aerobic and anaerobic sulfur-compound oxidation by β-proteobacteria and will help reveal the molecular basis of this organism's role in major biogeochemical cycles (i.e., those involving sulfur, nitrogen, and carbon) and groundwater restoration.
Despite their high DNA identity and a proposal to group classical Brucella species as biovars of Brucella melitensis, the commonly recognized Brucella species can be distinguished by distinct biochemical and fatty acid characters, as well as by a marked host range (e.g., Brucella suis for swine, B. melitensis for sheep and goats, and Brucella abortus for cattle). Here we present the genome of B. abortus 2308, the virulent prototype biovar 1 strain, and its comparison to the two other human pathogenic Brucella species and to B. abortus field isolate 9-941. The global distribution of pseudogenes, deletions, and insertions supports previous indications that B. abortus and B. melitensis share a common ancestor that diverged from B. suis. With the exception of a dozen genes, the genetic complements of both B. abortus strains are identical, whereas the three species differ in gene content and pseudogenes. The pattern of species-specific gene inactivations affecting transcriptional regulators and outer membrane proteins suggests that these inactivations may play an important role in the establishment of host specificity and may have been a primary driver of speciation in the genus Brucella. Despite being nonmotile, the brucellae contain flagellum gene clusters and display species-specific flagellar gene inactivations, which lead to the putative generation of different versions of flagellum-derived structures and may contribute to differences in host specificity and virulence. Metabolic changes such as the lack of complete metabolic pathways for the synthesis of numerous compounds (e.g., glycogen, biotin, NAD, and choline) are consistent with adaptation of brucellae to an intracellular life-style.
The genome sequence of bacteriophage φA1122 has been determined. φA1122 grows on almost all isolates of Yersinia pestis and is used by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as a diagnostic agent for the causative agent of plague. φA1122 is very closely related to coliphage T7; the two genomes are colinear, and the genome-wide level of nucleotide identity is about 89%. However, a quarter of the φA1122 genome, one that includes about half of the morphogenetic and maturation functions, is significantly more closely related to coliphage T3 than to T7. It is proposed that the yersiniophage φA1122 recombined with a close relative of the Y. enterocolitica phage φYeO3-12 to yield progeny phages, one of which became the classic T3 coliphage of Demerec and Fano (M. Demerec and U. Fano, Genetics 30:119-136, 1945).
We have developed a procedure to directly clone large fragments from the genome of the soil bacterium Sinorhizobium meliloti. Specific regions to be cloned are first flanked by parallel copies of an origin of transfer (oriT) together with a plasmid replication origin capable of replicating large clones in Escherichia coli but not in the target organism. Supplying transfer genes in trans specifically transfers the oriT-flanked region, and in this process, site-specific recombination at the oriT sites results in a plasmid carrying the flanked region of interest that can replicate in E. coli from the inserted origin of replication (in this case, the F origin carried on a BAC cloning vector). We have used this procedure with the oriT of the plasmid RK2 to clone contiguous fragments of 50, 60, 115, 140, 240, and 200 kb from the S. meliloti pExo megaplasmid. Analysis of the 60-kb fragment allowed us to identify a 9-kb region capable of autonomous replication in the bacterium Agrobacterium tumefaciens. The nucleotide sequence of this fragment revealed a replicator region including homologs of the repA, repB, and repC genes from other Rhizobiaceae, which encode proteins involved in replication and segregation of plasmids in many organisms.