Peer-Reviewed Journal Details
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Francesca Bottacini1, Mary O'Connell Motherway1, Eoghan Casey2, Brian McDonnell2, Jennifer Mahony2, Marco Ventura3 and Douwe van Sinderen1,2*
Applied and Environmental Microbiology
Discovery of a conjugative megaplasmid in Bifidobacterium breve
In Press
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Bifidobacterium breve is a common and sometimes very abundant inhabitant of the human gut. Genome sequencing of B. breve JCM 7017 revealed the presence of an extrachromosomal element, designated pMP7017 consisting of more than 190 kb, thus representing the first reported bifidobacterial megaplasmid. In silico characterization of this element revealed several genomic features supporting a stable establishment of the megaplasmid in its host, illustrated by predicted CRISPR-Cas functions that are known to protect the host against intrusion of foreign DNA. Interestingly, pMP7017 is also predicted to encode a conjugative DNA transfer apparatus and consistent with this notion we demonstrate conjugal transfer of pMP7017 to representative strains of B. breve and B. longum subsp. longum. We furthermore demonstrate the presence of a megaplasmid with homology to pMP7017 in three B. longum subsp. longum strains.
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