1887

Abstract

Describing the role of plasmids and their contribution to the exchange of genetic material among bacteria is essential for understanding the fields of plasmid epidemiology, microbial ecology, and commercial and synthetic microbiology. Broad-host-range (BHR) plasmids are those that are found not only in a single bacterial species, but in members of different taxonomic groups and are of significant interest to researchers in many fields. We applied a novel approach to computationally identify new BHR plasmids, in which we searched for highly similar cognate plasmids within a comprehensive plasmid database. After identifying 125 plasmid groups with highly similar cognates found in multiple taxa, we closely examined BHR plasmids found in multiple families. The majority of our identified BHR plasmids are found in members of the   Enterobacteriaceae   and closely related taxa, while three BHR plasmids of potential commercial significance were found in two species of   Cyanobacteria  . One plasmid with an exceptionally broad host range was found in both Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacterial species. This analysis demonstrates the utility of this method in identifying new BHR plasmids while highlighting unknown ranges of previously documented plasmids.

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2019-01-09
2020-01-21
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