Discovery and distribution of super-integrons among pseudomonads

Mol Microbiol. 2001 Nov;42(3):587-601. doi: 10.1046/j.1365-2958.2001.02604.x.


Until recently, integrons (systems for acquisition and expression of new genetic materials) have been associated generally with antibiotic resistance gene cassettes. The discovery of 'super-integrons' in Vibrionaceae suggests a greater impact of this gene acquisition mechanism on bacterial genome evolution than initially believed. Super-integrons may contain more than 100 gene cassettes and may encode other determinants, including biochemical functions or virulence factors. Here, we report the genetic organization of a super-integron from Pseudomonas alcaligenes ATCC 55044. This is the first evidence of a super-integron in a non-pathogenic bacterium, one which is widely distributed in a great number of ecological niches such as soil and aquatic habitats. Here, the sequence composition, open reading frame (ORF) content and organization of In55044 are described and found to have features intermediate between the multidrug-resistant integrons and the Vibrio cholerae super-integron. Similar structures are inferred to be present in several Pseudomonas species, based on polymerase chain reaction (PCR) experiments.

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Base Sequence
  • Codon
  • DNA Fingerprinting / methods
  • DNA Transposable Elements*
  • Evolution, Molecular
  • Genome, Bacterial
  • Integrases* / genetics*
  • Integrases* / metabolism
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Open Reading Frames / genetics
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction / methods
  • Pseudomonas / genetics*
  • Repetitive Sequences, Nucleic Acid / genetics
  • Sequence Alignment
  • Sequence Analysis, DNA


  • Codon
  • DNA Transposable Elements
  • Integrases
  • integron integrase IntI1

Associated data

  • GENBANK/AY039626