The complete nucleotide sequence of the genome of the soybean symbiont Bradyrhizobium japonicum strain USDA6 T was determined. The genome of USDA6 T is a single circular chromosome of 9,207,384 bp. The genome size is similar to that of the genome of another soybean symbiont, B. japonicum USDA110 (9,105,828 bp). Comparison of the whole-genome sequences of USDA6 T and USDA110 showed colinearity of major regions in the two genomes, although a large inversion exists between them. A significantly high level of sequence conservation was detected in three regions on each genome. The gene constitution and nucleotide sequence features in these three regions indicate that they may have been derived from a symbiosis island. An ancestral, large symbiosis island, approximately 860 kb in total size, appears to have been split into these three regions by unknown large-scale genome rearrangements. The two integration events responsible for this appear to have taken place independently, but through comparable mechanisms, in both genomes.
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