Isolation and molecular characterization of a novel broad-host-range plasmid from Bordetella bronchiseptica with sequence similarities to plasmids from gram-positive organisms

Mol Microbiol. 1992 Jul;6(13):1785-99. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2958.1992.tb01351.x.


A 2.6 kb plasmid, named pBBR1, was isolated from Bordetella bronchiseptica S87. After insertion of an antibiotic resistance marker, this plasmid could be transferred into Escherichia coli, Bordetella pertussis, B. bronchiseptica, Vibrio cholerae, Rhizobium meliloti, and Pseudomonas putida by transformation or conjugation. Conjugation was possible only when the IncP group transfer functions were provided in trans. As shown by incompatibility testing, pBBR1 does not belong to the broad-host-range IncP, IncQ or IncW groups. DNA sequence analysis revealed two open reading frames: one was called Rep, involved in replication of the plasmid, and the other, called Mob, was involved in mobilization. Both the amino-terminal region of Mob and its promoter region show sequence similarities to Mob/Pre proteins from plasmids of Gram-positive bacteria. In spite of these sequence similarities, pBBR1 does not replicate via the rolling-circle mechanism commonly used by small Gram-positive plasmids. We therefore speculate that pBBR1 may combine a mobilization mechanism of Gram-positive organisms with a replication mechanism of Gram-negative organisms. Determination of the plasmid copy number in E. coli and B. pertussis indicated that pBBR1 has a rather high copy number, which, in conjunction with its small size and broad host range, renders it particularly interesting for studies of broad-host-range replicons and for the development of new cloning vectors for a wide range of Gram-negative bacteria.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Bacterial Proteins / genetics
  • Bacterial Proteins / metabolism
  • Base Sequence
  • Bordetella bronchiseptica / genetics*
  • Bordetella pertussis / genetics
  • Conjugation, Genetic
  • DNA Replication
  • DNA Transposable Elements
  • Escherichia coli / genetics
  • Gram-Positive Bacteria / genetics*
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Open Reading Frames
  • Plasmids*
  • Sequence Alignment
  • Transformation, Bacterial


  • Bacterial Proteins
  • DNA Transposable Elements

Associated data