Palindromic unit highly repetitive DNA sequences exhibit species specificity within Enterobacteriaceae

Res Microbiol. Nov-Dec 1990;141(9):1103-16. doi: 10.1016/0923-2508(90)90084-4.


Palindromic units (PU, or REP for repetitive extragenic palindrome) constitute a family of DNA sequences of 40 nucleotides which is highly repeated in the genome of Escherichia coli. We analysed the presence of PU sequences in 99 different bacterial genomes by cross-hybridization. When PU sequences were used as a probe, only DNA from Enterobacteriaceae closely related to E. coli exhibited an appreciable hybridization signal: Shigella sonnei, Shigella boydii, Salmonella enteritica serotype Typhimurium, Citrobacter freundii and Levinea malonatica. Furthermore, these bacteria could be divided into two groups which corresponded to a slight difference in their PU sequence: the E. coli group includes S. sonnei and S. boydii; the S. enteritica serotype Typhimurium group includes C. freundii and L. malonatica.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Blotting, Southern
  • DNA
  • Enterobacteriaceae / classification
  • Enterobacteriaceae / genetics*
  • Escherichia coli / classification
  • Escherichia coli / genetics
  • Nucleic Acid Hybridization
  • Nucleic Acid Probes
  • Repetitive Sequences, Nucleic Acid*
  • Species Specificity


  • Nucleic Acid Probes
  • DNA