Molecular classification of IncP-9 naphthalene degradation plasmids

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


  • TY Izmalkova
  • DV Mavrodi
  • SL Sokolov
  • IA Kosheleva
  • K Smalla
  • AM Boronin

Colleges, School and Institutes


A large collection of naphthalene-degrading fluorescent Pseudomonas strains isolated from sites contaminated with coal tar and crude oil was screened for the presence of IncP-9 plasmids. Seventeen strains were found to carry naphthalene catabolic plasmids ranging in size from 83 to 120 kb and were selected for further study. Results of molecular genotyping revealed that 15 strains were closely related to P. putida, one to P. fluorescens, and one to P. aeruginosa. All catabolic plasmids found in these strains, with the exception of pBS216, pSN11, and p8909N-1, turned out to belong to IncP-9 beta-subgroup. Plasmids pBS216, pSN11, and p8909N-1 were identified as members of IncP-9 delta-subgroup. One plasmid, pBS2, contains fused replicons of IncP-9beta and IncP-7 groups. RFLP analyses of the naphthalene catabolic plasmids revealed that organisation of the replicon correlates well with the overall plasmid structure. Comparative PCR studies with conserved oligonucleotide primers indicated that genes for key enzymes of naphthalene catabolism are highly conserved among all studied plasmids. Three bacterial strains, P. putida BS202, P. putida BS3701, and P. putida BS3790, were found to have two different salicylate hydroxylase genes one of which has no similarity to the "classic" enzyme encoded by nahG gene. Discovery of a large group of plasmid with unique nahR suggested that the regulatory loop may also represent a variable part of the pathway for catabolism of naphthalene in fluorescent Pseudomonas spp.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-10
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2006


  • biodegradation, naphthalene, IncP-9 plasmids, catabolic genes, fluorescent Pseudomonas