Evidence for past integration of IncP-1 plasmids into bacterial chromosomes

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Colleges, School and Institutes


Plasmids of the IncP-1 incompatibility group are self-transmissible between and stably maintained in a very broad range of Gram-negative bacteria. A characteristic feature of IncP-1 genomes is the existence of multiple binding sites (O-B) for the KorB protein which plays a dual role in active partitioning of plasmid and coordinate regulation of expression of genes for replication, maintenance and transfer. A search of the available bacterial genome sequences revealed a significant number (70 out of 322) with one or more putative KorB binding sites. Binding of KorB to such a site was demonstrated by chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) for Pseudomonas putida KT2440. While such a site may arise by chance, this is unlikely for Pseudomonas aeruginosa UCBPP-PA14 whose genome sequence contains four clustered O-B sites and several regions have more than 80% nucleotide identity to traJ, trbJ and trbL of IncP-1 plasmids. A number of other bacterial genomes also contain integrated partial IncP-1 genomes or their remnants. These data provide evidence for multiple past integration events of IncP-1 plasmids into bacterial chromosomes and provide new evidence for IncP-1 plasmids being important elements in gene mobility. (C) 2004 Federation of European Microbiological Societies. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)163-169
Number of pages7
JournalFEMS Microbiology Letters
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2004


  • pseudomonas, KorB operator, IncP-1 plasmid, plasmid evolution, horizontal gene transfer