Homologous recombination between rrn operons rearranges the chromosome in host-specialized species of Salmonella

FEMS Microbiol Lett. 1998 Jul 15;164(2):275-81. doi: 10.1111/j.1574-6968.1998.tb13098.x.


Partial digestion with I-CeuI, which digests bacterial DNA at the gene coding for the large subunit rRNA, established the rrn genomic skeleton (the distance in kb between rRNA operons) in 56 strains of Salmonella, from Salmonella Reference B (SARB) set. All had seven I-CeuI sites, indicating seven rrn operons. The order of I-CeuI fragments was ABCDEFG in S. typhimurium LT2 and in 31 other species, mostly host-generalists; in S. typhi, S. paratyphi C, S. gallinarum, and S. pullorum (host-specialized species), these fragments are rearranged, due to homologous recombination between the rrn operons. Rearrangements, such as inversions and translocations not involving the rrn operons, are rare. I-CeuI fragments of some species are larger than the norm, suggesting the insertion of unique blocks of DNA by lateral transfer from other species.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Chromosomes, Bacterial / genetics*
  • DNA, Bacterial
  • Electrophoresis, Gel, Pulsed-Field
  • Endodeoxyribonucleases / metabolism
  • RNA, Ribosomal / genetics
  • Recombination, Genetic*
  • Restriction Mapping
  • Salmonella / genetics*
  • Species Specificity
  • rRNA Operon / genetics*


  • DNA, Bacterial
  • RNA, Ribosomal
  • Endodeoxyribonucleases
  • endodeoxyribonuclease I-CeuI