Nucleotide sequence of pOLA52: a conjugative IncX1 plasmid from Escherichia coli which enables biofilm formation and multidrug efflux

Plasmid. 2008 Jul;60(1):59-74. doi: 10.1016/j.plasmid.2008.03.003. Epub 2008 Apr 28.


The large conjugative multidrug resistance (MDR) plasmid pOLA52 was sequenced and annotated. The plasmid encodes two phenotypes normally associated with the chromosomes of opportunistic pathogens, namely MDR via a resistance-nodulation-division (RND)-type efflux-pump (oqxAB), and the formation of type 3 fimbriae (mrkABCDF). The plasmid was found to be 51,602 bp long with 68 putative genes. About half of the plasmid constituted a conserved IncX1-type backbone with predicted regions for conjugation, replication and partitioning, as well as a toxin/antitoxin (TA) plasmid addiction system. The plasmid was also classified as IncX1 with incompatibility testing. The conjugal transfer and plasmid maintenance regions of pOLA52 therefore seem to represent IncX1 orthologues of the well-characterized IncX2 plasmid R6K. Sequence homology searches in GenBank also suggested a considerably higher prevalence of IncX1 group plasmids than IncX2. The 21 kb 'genetic load' region of pOLA52 was shown to consist of a mosaic, among other things a fragmented Tn3 transposon encoding ampicillin resistance. Most notably the oqxAB and mrkABCDF cassettes were contained within two composite transposons (Tn6010 and Tn6011) that seemed to originate from Klebsiella pneumoniae, thus demonstrating the capability of IncX1 plasmids of facilitating lateral transfer of gene cassettes between different Enterobacteriaceae.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Base Sequence
  • Biofilms*
  • Conjugation, Genetic / genetics*
  • DNA Replication / genetics
  • DNA Transposable Elements / genetics
  • Drug Resistance, Multiple / genetics*
  • Escherichia coli / genetics*
  • Escherichia coli / physiology
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Phylogeny
  • R Factors / genetics*


  • DNA Transposable Elements

Associated data

  • GENBANK/EU370913