Homologues of insecticidal toxin complex genes within a genomic island in the marine bacterium Vibrio parahaemolyticus

Kathy F J Tang, Donald V Lightner
FEMS Microbiology Letters 2014, 361 (1): 34-42
Three insecticidal toxin complex (tc)-like genes were identified in Vibrio parahaemolyticus 13-028/A3, which can cause acute hepatopancreatic necrosis disease in penaeid shrimp. The three genes are a tcdA-like gene (7710 bp), predicted to code for a 284-kDa protein; a tcdB-like gene (4272 bp), predicted to code for a 158-kDa protein; and a tccC3-like gene (2916 bp), predicted to encode a 107-kDa protein. All three predicted proteins contain conserved domains that are characteristic of their respective Tc proteins. By RT-PCR, all three tc-like genes were found to be expressed in this bacterium. Through genome walking and the use of PCR to join contigs surrounding these three genes, a genomic island (87 712 bp, named tc-GIvp) was found on chromosome II localized next to the tRNA Gly. The GC content of this island, which is not found in other Vibrio species, is 40%. The tc-GIvp is characterized to have 60 ORFs encoding regulatory or virulence factors. These include a type 6 secretion protein VgrG, EAL domain-containing proteins, fimbriae subunits and assembly proteins, invasin-like proteins, peptidoglycan-binding proteins, and Tc proteins. The tc-GIvp also contains 21 transposase genes, suggesting that it was acquired through horizontal transfer from other organisms.


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