Bacterial clade with the ribosomal RNA operon on a small plasmid rather than the chromosome

Mizue Anda, Yoshiyuki Ohtsubo, Takashi Okubo, Masayuki Sugawara, Yuji Nagata, Masataka Tsuda, Kiwamu Minamisawa, Hisayuki Mitsui

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    15 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    rRNA is essential for life because of its functional importance in protein synthesis. The rRNA (rrn) operon encoding 16S, 23S, and 5S rRNAs is located on the "main" chromosome in all bacteria documented to date and is frequently used as a marker of chromosomes. Here, our genome analysis of a plant-associated alphaproteobacterium, Aureimonas sp. AU20, indicates that this strain has its sole rrn operon on a small (9.4 kb), high-copy-number replicon. We designated this unusual replicon carrying the rrn operon on the background of an rrn-lacking chromosome (RLC) as the rrn-plasmid. Four of 12 strains close to AU20 also had this RLC/rrn-plasmid organization. Phylogenetic analysis showed that those strains having the RLC/rrn-plasmid organization represented one cladewithin the genus Aureimonas. Our finding introduces a previously unaddressed viewpoint into studies of genetics, genomics, and evolution in microbiology and biology in general.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)14343-14347
    Number of pages5
    JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
    Volume112
    Issue number46
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2015 Nov 17

    Keywords

    • Aureimonas
    • Chromosome
    • Genome rearrangement
    • Plasmid
    • Ribosomal RNA operon

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • General

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