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Title: Biphenyl/PCB degrading bph genes of ten bacterial strains isolated from biphenyl-contaminated soil in Kitakyushu, Japan: comparative and dynamic features as integrative conjugative elements (ICEs)
Authors: Hirose, Jun
Fujihara, Hidehiko
Watanabe, Takahito  kyouindb  KAKEN_id  orcid (unconfirmed)
Kimura, Nobutada
Suenaga, Hikaru
Futagami, Taiki
Goto, Masatoshi
Suyama, Akiko
Furukawa, Kensuke
Author's alias: 渡邊, 崇人
Keywords: biphenyl
bph gene
integrative conjugative element
genome sequence
Issue Date: May-2019
Publisher: MDPI AG
Journal title: Genes
Volume: 10
Issue: 5
Thesis number: 404
Abstract: We sequenced the entire genomes of ten biphenyl/PCB degrading bacterial strains (KF strains) isolated from biphenyl-contaminated soil in Kitakyushu, Japan. All the strains were Gram-negative bacteria belonging to β- and γ-proteobacteria. Out of the ten strains, nine strains carried a biphenyl catabolic bph gene cluster as integrative conjugative elements (ICEs), and they were classified into four groups based on the structural features of the bph genes. Group I (five strains) possessed bph genes that were very similar to the ones in Pseudomonas furukawaii KF707 (formerly Pseudomonas pseudoalcaligenes KF707), which is one of the best characterized biphenyl-utilizing strains. This group of strains carried salicylate catabolic sal genes that were approximately 6-kb downstream of the bph genes. Group II (two strains) possessed bph and sal genes similar to the ones in KF707, but these strains lacked the bphX region between bphC and bphD, which is involved in the downstream catabolism of biphenyl. These bph-sal clusters in groups I and II were located on an integrative conjugative element that was larger than 110 kb, and they were named ICEbph-sal. Our previous study demonstrated that the ICEbph-sal of Pseudomonas putida KF715 in group II existed both in an integrated form in the chromosome (referred to as ICEbph-salKF715 (integrated)) and in a extrachromosomal circular form (referred to as ICEbph-sal (circular)) (previously called pKF715A, 483 kb) in the stationary culture. The ICEbph-sal was transferred from KF715 into P. putida AC30 and P. putida KT2440 with high frequency, and it was maintained stably as an extrachromosomal circular form. The ICEbph-salKF715 (circular) in these transconjugants was further transferred to P. putida F39/D and then integrated into the chromosome in one or two copies. Meanwhile, group III (one strain) possessed bph genes, but not sal genes. The nucleotide sequences of the bph genes in this group were less conserved compared to the genes of the strains belonging to groups I and II. Currently, there is no evidence to indicate that the bph genes in group III are carried by a mobile element. Group IV (two strains) carried bph genes as ICEs (59–61 kb) that were similar to the genes found in Tn4371 from Cupriavidus oxalacticus A5 and ICEKKS1024677 from the Acidovorax sp. strain KKS102. Our study found that bph gene islands have integrative functions, are transferred among soil bacteria, and are diversified through modification.
Rights: © 2019 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (
DOI(Published Version): 10.3390/genes10050404
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