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Identification of genes associated with prophage-like gene transfer agents in the pathogenic intestinal spirochaetes Brachyspira hyodysenteriae, Brachyspira pilosicoli and Brachyspira intermedia

Motro, Y., La, T., Bellgard, M., Dunn, D.S., Phillips, N.D. and Hampson, D.J. (2009) Identification of genes associated with prophage-like gene transfer agents in the pathogenic intestinal spirochaetes Brachyspira hyodysenteriae, Brachyspira pilosicoli and Brachyspira intermedia. Veterinary Microbiology, 134 (3-4). pp. 340-345.

Link to Published Version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.vetmic.2008.09.051
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Abstract

VSH-1 is an unusual prophage-like gene transfer agent (GTA) that has been described in the intestinal spirochaete Brachyspira hyodysenteriae. The GTA does not self-propagate, but it assembles into a virus-like particle and transfers random 7.5 kb fragments of host DNA to other B. hyodysenteriae cells. To date the GTA VSH-1 has only been analysed in B. hyodysenteriae strain B204, in which 11 late function genes encoding prophage capsid, tail and lysis elements have been described. The aim of the current study was to look for these 11 genes in the near-complete genomes of B. hyodysenteriae WA1, B. pilosicoli 95/1000 and B. intermedia HB60. All 11 genes were found in the three new strains. The GTA genes in WA1 and 95/1000 were contiguous, whilst some of those in HB60 were not-although in all three strains some gene rearrangements were present. A new predicted open reading frame with potential functional importance was found in a consistent position associated with all four GTAs, located between the genes for head protein Hvp24 and tail protein Hvp53, overlapping with the hvp24 sequence. Differences in the nucleotide and predicted amino acid sequences of the GTA genes in the spirochaete strains were consistent with the overall genetic distances between the strains. Hence the GTAs in the two B. hyodysenteriae strains were considered to be strain specific variants, and were designated GTA/Bh-B204 and GTA/Bh-WA1 respectively. The GTAs in the strains of B. intermedia and B. pilosicoli were designated GTA/Bint-HB60 and GTA/Bp-95/1000 respectively. Further work is required to determine the extent to which these GTAs can transfer host genes between different Brachyspira species and strains.

Publication Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation: Centre for Comparative Genomics
School of Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences
Publisher: Elsevier BV
Copyright: © 2008 Elsevier B.V.
URI: http://researchrepository.murdoch.edu.au/id/eprint/7883
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