Molecular characterization of Brucella abortus chromosome II recombination

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Large-scale genomic rearrangements including inversions, deletions, and duplications are significant in bacterial evolution. The recently completed Brucella melitensis 16M and Brucella suis 1330 genomes have facilitated the investigation of such events in the Brucella spp. Suppressive subtractive hybridization (SSH) was employed in identifying genomic differences between B. melitensis 16M and Brucella abortus 2308. Analysis of 45 SSH clones revealed several deletions on chromosomes of B. abortus and B. melitensis that encoded proteins of various metabolic pathways. A 640-kb inversion on chromosome II of B. abortus has been reported previously (S. Michaux Charachon, G. Bourg, E. Jumas Bilak, P. Guigue Talet, A. Allardet Servent, D. O'Callaghan, and M. Ramuz, J. Bacteriol. 179:3244-3249, 1997) and is further described in this study. One end of the inverted region is located on a deleted TATGC site between open reading frames BMEII0292 and BMEII0293. The other end inserted at a GTGTC site of the cyclic-di-GMP phosphodiesterase A (PDEA) gene (BMEII1009), dividing PDEA into two unequal DNA segments of 160 and 977 bp. As a consequence of inversion, the 160-bp segment that encodes the N-terminal region of PDEA was relocated at the opposite end of the inverted chromosomal region. The splitting of the PDEA gene most likely inactivated the function of this enzyme. A recombination mechanism responsible for this inversion is proposed.

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Journal of Bacteriology

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