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Plasmids are key vectors of horizontal gene transfer and essential genetic engineering tools. They code for genes involved in many aspects of microbial biology, including detoxication, virulence, ecological interactions, and antibiotic resistance. While many studies have decorticated the mechanisms of mobility in model plasmids, the identification and(More)
Transmissible plasmids can be classified according to their mobilization ability, as being conjugative (self-transmissible) or mobilizable (transmissible only in the presence of additional conjugative functions). Naturally occurring mobilizable plasmids carry the genetic information necessary for relaxosome formation and processing, but lack the functions(More)
Bacterial conjugation is an efficient and sophisticated mechanism of DNA transfer among bacteria. While mobilizable plasmids only encode a minimal MOB machinery that allows them to be transported by other plasmids, conjugative plasmids encode a complete set of transfer genes (MOB1T4SS). The only essential ingredient of the MOB machinery is the relaxase, the(More)
Horizontal gene transfer shapes the genomes of prokaryotes by allowing rapid acquisition of novel adaptive functions. Conjugation allows the broadest range and the highest gene transfer input per transfer event. While conjugative plasmids have been studied for decades, the number and diversity of integrative conjugative elements (ICE) in prokaryotes(More)
Conjugation of DNA through a type IV secretion system (T4SS) drives horizontal gene transfer. Yet little is known on the diversity of these nanomachines. We previously found that T4SS can be divided in eight classes based on the phylogeny of the only ubiquitous protein of T4SS (VirB4). Here, we use an ab initio approach to identify protein families(More)
Plasmids contain a backbone of core genes that remains relatively stable for long evolutionary periods, making sense to speak about plasmid species. The identification and characterization of the core genes of a plasmid species has a special relevance in the study of its epidemiology and modes of transmission. Besides, this knowledge will help to unveil the(More)
Entry exclusion is a property of plasmids by which the cells that contain them become bad recipients in additional conjugation rounds. This work reviews entry exclusion essential features and analyzes the mechanisms of action of the best studied systems. We searched for homologs of the proteins responsible for experimentally known exclusion systems. Results(More)
Bacterial whole genome sequence (WGS) methods are rapidly overtaking classical sequence analysis. Many bacterial sequencing projects focus on mobilome changes, since macroevolutionary events, such as the acquisition or loss of mobile genetic elements, mainly plasmids, play essential roles in adaptive evolution. Existing WGS analysis protocols do not assort(More)
DNA sequence analysis of five IncW plasmids (R388, pSa, R7K, pIE321, and pIE522) demonstrated that they share a considerable portion of their genomes and allowed us to define the IncW backbone. Among these plasmids, the backbone is stable and seems to have diverged recently, since the overall identity among its members is higher than 95%. The only gene in(More)
Since its first description in 2000, CTX-M-14 has become one of the most widespread extended-spectrum beta-lactamases in Spain. In the present Escherichia coli multilevel population genetic study involving the characterization of phylogroups, clones, plasmids, and genetic platforms, 61 isolates from 16 hospitalized patients and 40 outpatients and healthy(More)