Diversity and evolution of repABC type plasmids in Rhodobacterales.


The repABC operon is the prevalent replication unit of alphaproteobacterial plasmids. Their semi-autonomy is ensured by the essential replicase gene repC as well as the repAB partitioning cassette. While conserved repAB modules are widespread among bacterial plasmids and homologues are even responsible for chromosome partitioning, repC genes are exclusively present in Alphaproteobacteria. RepABC operons contain two strong incompatibility regions, namely a small regulative antisense RNA gene (inc alpha) and a palindromic centromere region (inc beta), which were previously used to classify these replicons. The present survey pursued a complementary strategy essentially following the rationale that all plasmids identified from a single bacterium are per se compatible. We established a novel classification scheme for plasmids based on comprehensive phylogenetic analyses of repC, repA and repB genes. Our case study is focused on the Roseobacter clade (Rhodobacterales), one of the most successful lineages of the marine bacterioplankton. Its global significance was shown in several studies and the interest in these organisms is reflected by more than 40 upcoming genome projects. Based on phylogenetic RepC analyses we identified nine compatibility groups that are expected to stably coexist within the same cell. This prediction is supported by RepA and RepB phylogenies, moreover independent evidence is delivered by the group specificity of highly conserved palindromes (inc beta).

DOI: 10.1111/j.1462-2920.2009.01987.x

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@article{Petersen2009DiversityAE, title={Diversity and evolution of repABC type plasmids in Rhodobacterales.}, author={J{\"{o}rn Petersen and Henner Brinkmann and Silke Pradella}, journal={Environmental microbiology}, year={2009}, volume={11 10}, pages={2627-38} }