Submitted to: Journal of Bacteriology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: October 10, 2008
Publication Date: December 10, 2008
Citation: Stanton, T.B., Humphrey, S.B., Bayles, D.O., Zuerner, R.L. 2008. Identification of a Divided Genome for VSH-1, the Prophage-Like Gene Transfer Agent of Brachyspira hyodysenteriae. Journal of Bacteriology. 191(5):1719-1721. Interpretive Summary: By sequencing the Brachyspira hyodysenteriae B204 genome, we found that genes of the novel gene transfer agent VSH-1 are embedded in the B. hyodysenteriae genome at two separate locations. This is a highly unexpected discovery and indicates that VSH-1, despite having its genome split into two parts, is still able to function and transfer antibiotic resistance genes between B. hyodysenteriae cells. It is a significant discovery for scientists studying bacterial gene transfer, especially antibiotic resistance transfer, and for regulatory agencies and animal health researchers concerned with the evolution of virulence in bacterial pathogens.
Technical Abstract: The Brachyspira hyodysenteriae B204 genome sequence revealed three VSH-1 tail genes hvp31, hvp60, and hvp37, in a 3.6 kb cluster. The location and transcription direction of these genes relative to the previously described VSH-1 16.3 kb gene operon indicate that the gene transfer agent VSH-1 has a non-contiguous, split genome.