Transposon-like organization of the plasmid-borne organophosphate degradation (opd) gene cluster found in Flavobacterium sp

Applied and Environmental Microbiology
Dayananda SiddavattamMike Merrick


Several bacterial strains that can use organophosphate pesticides as a source of carbon have been isolated from soil samples collected from diverse geographical regions. All these organisms synthesize an enzyme called parathion hydrolase, and in each case the enzyme is encoded by a gene (opd) located on a large indigenous plasmid. These plasmids show considerable genetic diversity, but the region containing the opd gene is highly conserved. Two opd plasmids, pPDL2 from Flavobacterium sp. and pCMS1 from Pseudomonas diminuta, are well characterized, and in each of them a region of about 5.1 kb containing the opd gene shows an identical restriction pattern. We now report the complete sequence of the conserved region of plasmid pPDL2. The opd gene is flanked upstream by an insertion sequence, ISFlsp1, that is a member of the IS21 family, and downstream by a Tn3-like element encoding a transposase and a resolvase. Adjacent to opd but transcribed in the opposite direction is an open reading frame (orf243) with the potential to encode an aromatic hydrolase somewhat similar to Pseudomonas putida TodF. We have shown that orf243 encodes a polypeptide of 27 kDa, which plays a role in the degradation of p-nitrophenol and is likely to act i...Continue Reading


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