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Selfish Islands and converging plasmids - new insights into evolution of root nodule bacteria

Nandasena, K.G., O'Hara, G.W., Reeve, W., Tiwari, R.ORCID: 0000-0003-3354-770X and Howieson, J.G. (2009) Selfish Islands and converging plasmids - new insights into evolution of root nodule bacteria. In: 15th Australian Nitrogen Fixation Conference, 8 - 13 November, Margaret River, Western Australia.

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The coming avalanche of genomic data is bringing opportunities for new insights into the genome architecture and evolution of root nodule bacteria. Comparative genomic analyses of root nodule bacteria reveal that mobile genetic elements ranging from transposons, integrons, genomic islands and plasmids are widespread in these genomes. Genomic islands are plasmid-like DNA regions that are integrated into prokaryotic chromosomes and confer a variety of functions (resistance, degradation, metabolism, pathogenicity, secretion and symbiosis) to the host genome. Acquisition can extend the capacity of the host bacterium to adapt to new environments. Genomic islands that confer nitrogen fixation capacity to non symbiotic bacteria are termed 'symbiosis islands' because they carry nodulation and nitrogen fixation genes required for the legume symbiosis as well as genes required for the excision, insertion and transfer of the island.

Item Type: Conference Item
Murdoch Affiliation(s): Centre for Rhizobium Studies
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