The distribution of a phage-related insertion sequence element in the cyanobacterium, Microcystis aeruginosa

Microbes Environ. 2010;25(4):295-301. doi: 10.1264/jsme2.me10125.


The cyanophage Ma-LMM01, specifically-infecting Microcystis aeruginosa, has an insertion sequence (IS) element that we named IS607-cp showing high nucleotide similarity to a counterpart in the genome of the cyanobacterium Cyanothece sp. We tested 21 strains of M. aeruginosa for the presence of IS607-cp using PCR and detected the element in strains NIES90, NIES112, NIES604, and RM6. Thermal asymmetric interlaced PCR (TAIL-PCR) revealed each of these strains has multiple copies of IS607-cp. Some of the ISs were classified into three types based on their inserted positions; IS607-cp-1 is common in strains NIES90, NIES112 and NIES604, whereas IS607-cp-2 and IS607-cp-3 are specific to strains NIES90 and RM6, respectively. This multiplicity may reflect the replicative transposition of IS607-cp. The sequence of IS607-cp in Ma-LMM01 showed robust affinity to those found in M. aeruginosa and Cyanothece spp. in a phylogenetic tree inferred from counterparts of various bacteria. This suggests the transfer of IS607-cp between the cyanobacterium and its cyanophage. We discuss the potential role of Ma-LMM01-related phages as donors of IS elements that may mediate the transfer of IS607-cp; and thereby partially contribute to the genome plasticity of M. aeruginosa.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Bacteriophages / genetics
  • Bacteriophages / physiology*
  • Base Sequence
  • DNA Transposable Elements*
  • Microcystis / classification
  • Microcystis / genetics*
  • Microcystis / virology*
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Mutagenesis, Insertional
  • Phylogeny


  • DNA Transposable Elements

Associated data

  • GENBANK/AB543092
  • GENBANK/AB543093
  • GENBANK/AB543094
  • GENBANK/AB543095
  • GENBANK/AB543096