1887

Abstract

The mobilome plays a crucial role in bacterial adaptation and is therefore a starting point to understand and establish the gene flow occurring in the process of bacterial evolution. This is even more so if we consider that the mobilome of environmental bacteria can be the reservoir of genes that may later appear in the clinic. Recently, new genera have been proposed in the family , including the genus , which encompasses dozens of species of agricultural, biotechnological, clinical and ecological importance, being ubiquitous in several environments. The current scenario in the mobilome has some bias because most of the characterized mycobacteriophages were isolated using a single host strain, and the few plasmids reported mainly relate to the genus . To fill in the gaps in these issues, we performed a systematic study of these mobile elements based on 242 available genomes of the genus . The analyses identified 156 putative plasmids (19 conjugative, 45 mobilizable and 92 non-mobilizable) and 566 prophages in 86 and 229 genomes, respectively. Moreover, a contig was characterized by resembling an actinomycete integrative and conjugative element (AICE). Within this diversity of mobile genetic elements, there is a pool of genes associated with several canonical functions, in addition to adaptive traits, such as virulence and resistance to antibiotics and metals (mercury and arsenic). The type-VII secretion system was a common feature in the predicted plasmids, being associated with genes encoding virulent proteins (EsxA, EsxB, PE and PPE). In addition to the characterization of plasmids and prophages of the family , this study showed an abundance of these genetic elements in a dozen species of the genus .

Funding
This study was supported by the:
  • Fundação Oswaldo Cruz
    • Principle Award Recipient: NotApplicable
  • Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível Superior (Award 001)
    • Principle Award Recipient: NotApplicable
  • Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico
    • Principle Award Recipient: NotApplicable
  • This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License.
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2021-10-20
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