ABSTRACT: The horizontal transfer of genes by mobile genetic elements such as plasmids and phages can accelerate genome diversification of Vibrio spp., affecting their physiology, pathogenicity, and ecological character. In this study, sequence analysis of three plasmids from Vibrio spp. previously isolated from salt marsh sediment revealed the remarkable diversity of these elements. Plasmids p0908 (81.4 kb), p23023 (52.5 kb), and p09022 (31.0 kb) had a predicted 99, 64, and 32 protein-coding sequences and G+C contents of 49.2%, 44.7%, and 42.4%, respectively. A phylogenetic tree based on concatenation of the host 16S rRNA and rpoA nucleotide sequences indicated p23023 and p09022 were isolated from strains most closely related to V. mediterranei and V. campbellii, respectively, while the host of p0908 forms a clade with V. fluvialis and V. furnissii. Many predicted proteins had amino acid identities to proteins of previously characterized phages and plasmids (24 to 94%). Predicted proteins with similarity to chromosomally encoded proteins included RecA, a nucleoid-associated protein (NdpA), a type IV helicase (UvrD), and multiple hypothetical proteins. Plasmid p0908 had striking similarity to enterobacteria phage P1, sharing genetic organization and amino acid identity for 23 predicted proteins. This study provides evidence of genetic exchange between Vibrio plasmids, phages, and chromosomes among diverse Vibrio spp.
Applied and environmental microbiology 01/2008; 73(23):7703-10. · 3.69 Impact Factor