Presence and Analysis of Plasmids in Human and Animal Associated Arcobacter Species

>In this study, we report the screening of four Arcobacter species for the presence of small and large plasmids. Plasmids were present in 9.9% of the 273 examined strains. One Arcobacter cryaerophilus and four Arcobacter butzleri plasmids were selected for further sequencing. The size of three small plasmids isolated from A. butzleri and the one from A. cryaerophilus strains ranged between 4.8 and 5.1 kb, and the size of the large plasmid, isolated from A. butzleri, was 27.4 kbp. The G+C content of all plasmids ranged between 25.4% and 26.2%. A total of 95% of the large plasmid sequence represents coding information, which contrasts to the 20 to 30% for the small plasmids. Some of the open reading frames showed a high homology to putative conserved domains found in other related organisms, such as replication, mobilization and genes involved in type IV secretion system. The large plasmid carried 35 coding sequences, including seven genes in a contiguous region of 11.6 kbp that encodes an orthologous type IV secretion system found in the Wolinella succinogenes genome, Helicobacter pylori and Campylobacter jejuni plasmids, which makes this plasmid interesting for further exploration.

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