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Characterization of new IS elements and studies of their dispersion in two subspecies of Leifsonia xyli

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Author(s): Zerillo Marcelo | Van Sluys Marie-Anne | Camargo Luis | Monteiro-Vitorello Claudia

Journal: BMC Microbiology
ISSN 1471-2180

Volume: 8;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 127;
Date: 2008;
Original page

ABSTRACT
Abstract Background Leifsonia xyli is a xylem-inhabiting bacterial species comprised of two subspecies: L. xyli subsp. xyli (Lxx) and L. xyli subsp. cynodontis (Lxc). Lxx is the causal agent of ratoon stunting disease in sugarcane commercial fields and Lxc colonizes the xylem of several grasses causing either mild or no symptoms of disease. The completely sequenced genome of Lxx provided insights into its biology and pathogenicity. Since IS elements are largely reported as an important source of bacterial genome diversification and nothing is known about their role in chromosome architecture of L. xyli, a comparative analysis of Lxc and Lxx elements was performed. Results Sample sequencing of Lxc genome and comparative analysis with Lxx complete DNA sequence revealed a variable number of IS transposable elements acting upon genomic diversity. A detailed characterization of Lxc IS elements and a comparative review with IS elements of Lxx are presented. Each genome showed a unique set of elements although related to same IS families when considering features such as similarity among transposases, inverted and direct repeats, and element size. Most of the Lxc and Lxx IS families assigned were reported to maintain transposition at low levels using translation regulatory mechanisms, consistent with our in silico analysis. Some of the IS elements were found associated with rearrangements and specific regions of each genome. Differences were also found in the effect of IS elements upon insertion, although none of the elements were preferentially associated with gene disruption. A survey of transposases among genomes of Actinobacteria showed no correlation between phylogenetic relatedness and distribution of IS families. By using Southern hybridization, we suggested that diversification of Lxc isolates is also mediated by insertion sequences in probably recent events. Conclusion Collectively our data indicate that transposable elements are involved in genome diversification of Lxc and Lxx. The IS elements were probably acquired after the divergence of the two subspecies and are associated with genome organization and gene contents. In addition to enhancing understanding of IS element dynamics in general, these data will contribute to our ongoing comparative analyses aimed at understanding the biological differences of the Lxc and Lxx.
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