Chromosomal rearrangements formed by rrn recombination do not improve replichore balance in host-specific Salmonella enterica serovars

T. David Matthews, Robert Edwards, Stanley Maloy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)
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Background: Most of the~2,600 serovars of Salmonella enterica have a broad host range as well as a conserved gene order. In contrast, some Salmonella serovars are host-specific and frequently exhibit large chromosomal rearrangements from recombination between rrn operons. One hypothesis explaining these rearrangements suggests that replichore imbalance introduced from horizontal transfer of pathogenicity islands and prophages drives chromosomal rearrangements in an attempt to improve balance. Methodology/Principal Findings: This hypothesis was directly tested by comparing the naturally-occurring chromosomal arrangement types to the theoretically possible arrangement types, and estimating their replichore balance using a calculator. In addition to previously characterized strains belonging to host-specific serovars, the arrangement types of 22 serovar Gallinarum strains was also determined. Only 48 out of 1,440 possible arrangement types were identified in 212 host-specific strains. While the replichores of most naturally-occurring arrangement types were well-balanced, most theoretical arrangement types had imbalanced replichores. Furthermore, the most common types of rearrangements did not change replichore balance. Conclusions/Significance: The results did not support the hypothesis that replichore imbalance causes these rearrangements, and suggest that the rearrangements could be explained by aspects of a host-specific lifestyle.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere13503
Number of pages10
JournalPLoS One
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 19 Oct 2010
Externally publishedYes

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