|Title||TraA is required for megaplasmid conjugation in Rhodococcus erythropolis AN12.|
|Publication Type||Journal Article|
|Year of Publication||2007|
|Authors||Yang, JC, Lessard, PA, Sengupta, N, Windsor, SD, O'Brien, XM, Bramucci, M, Tomb, J-F, Nagarajan, V, Sinskey, AJ|
|Date Published||2007 Jan|
|Keywords||Amino Acid Sequence, Conjugation, Genetic, DNA Transposable Elements, Genome, Bacterial, Molecular Sequence Data, Mutation, Plasmids, Rhodococcus, Sequence Homology, Amino Acid|
Pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) revealed three previously uncharacterized megaplasmids in the genome of Rhodococcus erythropolis AN12. These megaplasmids, pREA400, pREA250, and pREA100, are approximately 400, 250, and 100kb, respectively, based on their migration in pulsed-field gels. Genetic screening of an AN12 transposon insertion library showed that two megaplasmids, pREA400, and pREA250, are conjugative. Mobilization frequencies of these AN12 megaplasmids to recipient R. erythropolis SQ1 were determined to be approximately 7x10(-4) and 5x10(-4) events per recipient cell, respectively. It is known for other bacterial systems that a relaxase encoded by the traA gene is required to initiate DNA transfer during plasmid conjugation. Sequences adjacent to the transposon insertion in megaplasmid pREA400 revealed a putative traA-like open reading frame. A targeted gene disruption method was developed to generate a traA mutation in AN12, which allowed us to address the role of the traA gene product for Rhodococcus megaplasmid conjugation. We found that the AN12 traA mutant is no longer capable of transferring the pREA400 megaplasmid to SQ1. Furthermore, we confirmed that the conjugation defect was specifically due to the disruption of the traA gene, as pREA400 megaplasmid conjugation defect is restored with a complementing copy of the traA gene.