Self-transfer and Mobilisation Capabilities of the pXO2-like Plasmid pBT9727 From Bacillus Thuringiensis Subsp. Konkukian 97-27

Plasmid. 2008 Mar;59(2):134-8. doi: 10.1016/j.plasmid.2007.11.007. Epub 2008 Feb 12.


Recent characterisations of plasmids related to the anthrax virulence plasmids pXO1 and pXO2 in clinical isolates of Bacillus cereus and Bacillus thuringiensis have contributed to the emerging picture of a virulence-associated plasmid pool in the B. cereus sensu lato group. The family of pXO2-like plasmids includes the conjugative plasmid pAW63 from the biopesticide strain B. thuringiensis subsp. kurstaki HD73 and the heretofore cryptic plasmid pBT9727 from the clinical strain B. thuringiensis subsp. konkukian 97-27. Comparative sequence analysis of these three plasmids suggested that they were derived from an ancestral conjugative plasmid, with pAW63 retaining its self-transfer capabilities, and pXO2 having lost them through genetic drift. Such properties had not been investigated in pBT9727, but sequence homologies led us to predict that it may possess self-transfer capabilities. Here, we report that pBT9727 is indeed conjugative, and is able to promote its own transfer as well as that of small mobilisable plasmids.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Bacillus thuringiensis / genetics*
  • Conjugation, Genetic*
  • Plasmids / genetics
  • Plasmids / metabolism*