A unique aminoglycoside antibiotic, kasugamycin (KSM), has been used to control many plant bacterial and fungal diseases in several countries. The emergence of KSM-resistant Acidovorax avenae ssp. avenae and Burkholderia glumae, which cause rice bacterial brown stripe and rice bacterial grain and seedling rot, respectively, is a serious threat for the effective control of these diseases. Previously, we have identified the aac(2')-IIa gene, encoding a KSM 2'-N-acetyltransferase, from both KSM-resistant pathogens. Although all KSM-resistant isolates from both species possess the aac(2')-IIa gene, only A. avenae strain 83 showed higher resistance than other strains. In this research, kinetic analysis indicates that an amino acid substitution from serine to threonine at position 146 of AAC(2')-IIa in strain 83 is not involved in this increased resistance. Whole draft genome analysis of A. avenae 83 shows that the aac(2')-IIa gene is carried by the novel IncP-1β plasmid pAAA83, whereas the genetic carrier of other strains, the IncP genomic island, is inserted into their chromosomes. The difference in the nucleotides of the promoter region of aac(2')-IIa between strain 83 and other strains indicates an additional transcription start site and results in the increased transcription of aac(2')-IIa in strain 83. Moreover, biological characterization of pAAA83 demonstrates that it can be transferred by conjugation and maintained in the host cells. These results demonstrate that acquisition of the aac(2')-IIa gene takes place in at least two ways and that the gene module, which includes aac(2')-IIa and the downstream gene, may be an important unit for the dissemination of antibiotic resistance.
Keywords: Acidovorax; Burkholderia; IncP-1β plasmid; antibiotic resistance; genomic island; kasugamycin; rice.
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