The majority of the ORFs shared between pSfr64a and the chromosome of NGR234 are related to small molecule metabolism (15 ORFs), and to the transport of small molecules (11 ORFs). As shown in Figure 3 and Additional File 1 this region is also highly learn more colinear with the corresponding genes on the chromosome of NGR234. Data presented in this section suggest that pSfr64a was assembled during evolution as a chimeric
structure, harboring segments from two separate R. etli plasmids and the chromosome of a Sinorhizobium strain, such as NGR234. Plasmid pSfr64a is transmissible and this website required for transfer of pSfr64b The structural conservation on pSfr64a of genes involved in conjugation, raised the possibility of self-transmissibility of this replicon; therefore, the conjugative capacity of GR64 plasmids was studied. The results (Table 4) show that plasmid pSfr64a is transmissible at a high frequency. The symbiotic plasmid pSfr64b was also able to perform conjugative transfer, but only when pSfr64a was present. We conclude that pSfr64a provides transfer functions to pSfr64b. The process could be similar to what we described for
CFN42, where pRet42a induces pSym transfer by cointegration. Alternatively, pSfr64b mobilization could be induced in trans. Interestingly, the transfer frequency of this pSym was found to be two orders of magnitude higher than that of R. etli CFN42 pSym. Table 4 Transfer frequency of self-transmissible and symbiotic plasmids a Donor Relevant genotype Transfer Frequencyb STP c pSym CFN42 wild type R. etli 10-2 DNA Damage inhibitor Methamphetamine 10-6 CFNX195 CFN42 derivative: pRet42a-, pRet42d::Tn5mob -d NDe GR64 wild type S. fredii 10-1 10-4 GR64-2 GR64/pSfr64a – , pSfr64b::Tn5mob – ND GR64-3 GR64-2/pRet42a::Tn5-GDYN ND ND GR64-5 GR64/pSfr64a – , pSfr64b-, pRet42a::Tn5-GDYN
ND – GR64-6 GR64/pSfr64a-, pSfr64b-, pSfr64a::Tn5-GDYN 10-1 – CFN2001-1 CFN2001/pSfr64b::Tn5mob – ND CFN2001-2 CFN2001-1/pRet42a::Tn5-GDYN 10-4 10-6 CFN2001-3 CFN2001-1/pSfr64a::Tn5-GDYN ND ND a Strain GMI9023 was used as receptor. All crosses were repeated at least three times. b Expressed as the number of transconjugants per donor. c STP: Self Transmissible Plasmid d Not done e not detected (transfer frequency <10-9). Genomic background determines functionality of conjugative plasmids In order to assess the specificity of pSym transfer induction, we constructed derivatives containing diverse plasmid combinations, in either R. etli or S. fredii genomic backgrounds, as described in Materials and Methods, and determined the transfer frequency of the self-transmissible and symbiotic plasmids (Table 4). Analysis of a derivative containing the R. etli self-transmissible plasmid pRet42a in S. fredii background (GR64-3) showed a dramatic decrease in the transfer ability of the plasmid as well as no transfer of the GR64 pSym. These results suggest that the genome of GR64 contains an inhibitor of pRet42a transfer.