Plasmid pBP136 from Bordetella pertussis represents an ancestral form of IncP-1 beta plasmids without accessory mobile elements

Text - scientific article/review article


The complete 41 268 bp nucleotide sequence of the IncP-1 beta plasmid pBP136 from the human pathogen Bordetella pertussis, the primary aetiological agent of whooping cough, was determined and analysed. This plasmid carried a total of 46 ORFs: 44 ORFs corresponding to the genes in the conserved IncP-1 beta backbone, and 2 ORFs similar to the XF1596 and XF1597 genes with unknown function of the plant pathogen Xylella fastidiosa. Interestingly, pBP136 had no accessory genes carrying genetic traits such as antibiotic or mercury resistance and/or xenobiotic degradation. Moreover, pBP136 had only two of the kle genes (kleAE) that have been reported to be important for the stability of IncP-1 plasmid in Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Phylogenetic analysis of the Kle proteins revealed that the KleA and KleE of pBP136 were phylogenetically distant from those of the present IncP-1 plasmids. In contrast, IncC1 and KorC, encoded upstream and downstream of the kle genes respectively, and the replication-initiation protein, TrfA, were closely related to those of the IncP-1 beta 'R751 group'. These results suggest that (i) pBP136 without any apparent accessory genes diverged early from an ancestor of the present IncP-1 beta plasmids, especially those of the R751 group, and (ii) the kle genes might be incorporated independently into the backbone region of the IncP-1 plasmids for their stable maintenance in various host cells.


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  • Bordetella pertussis
  • Xylella fastidiosa


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