Plasmids of the incompatibility group IncP-1 are important agents of horizontal gene transfer and contribute to the spread of antibiotic resistance and xenobiotic degradation within bacterial communities. Even though some prototype plasmids have been studied in much detail, the diversity of this plasmid group was still greatly underestimated until recently, as only two of the five currently known divergent sub-groups had been described. To further improve our insight into the diversity and evolutionary history of this family of broad-host-range plasmids, we compared the complete nucleotide sequence of a new IncP-1δ plasmid pAKD4 to the genomes of other IncP-1 plasmids. Plasmid pAKD4 was previously isolated by exogenous plasmid isolation from an agricultural soil in Norway. Its 56,803. bp nucleotide sequence shows high similarity in gene sequence and gene order to both plasmids pEST4011 and pIJB1, the only other IncP-1δ plasmids sequenced so far. While all three plasmids have a typical IncP-1 backbone comprising replication, transfer, and stable inheritance/control genes, the low sequence similarity in some regions and presence/absence of some backbone genes compared to other IncP-1 plasmids cluster them in a divergent sub-group. Therefore this study validates the presence of a real IncP-1δ clade with multiple plasmids. Moreover, since both pEST4011 and pIJB1 are missing a portion of their transfer genes, pAKD4 represents the first completely sequenced self-transferable plasmid with a complete IncP-1δ backbone. We therefore propose it to be the prototype IncP-1δ plasmid.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Biology