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Microorganisms 2016, 4(1), 3;

In Silico Analysis of a Novel Plasmid from the Coral Pathogen Vibrio coralliilyticus Reveals Two Potential “Ecological Islands”

Department of Biological Sciences, Northern Illinois University, DeKalb, IL 60115, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Johannes F. Imhoff
Received: 30 October 2015 / Revised: 1 December 2015 / Accepted: 10 December 2015 / Published: 4 January 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Diversity and Dynamics of Marine Microbial Communities)
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As virulence often correlates with the presence of plasmid replicons in several Vibrio spp., this study investigated whether non-chromosomal DNA could be found in the coral pathogen, Vibrio coralliilyticus BAA-450. A circular plasmid, 26,631 bp in size, was identified. DNA sequence analysis indicated that the plasmid contained 30 open reading frames, six tRNA genes, 12 inverted repeats, three direct repeats and presented no continuous sequence identity to other replicons within the database. Consequently, these findings indicate that this is a novel, previously unidentified, plasmid. Two putative “ecological islands” were also identified and are predicted to encode for various factors that would facilitate growth and survival under different ecological conditions. In addition, two open reading frames may encode proteins that contribute to the pathogenicity of the organism. Functional cooperativity is also indicated between several plasmid- and chromosomally-encoded proteins, which, in a single instance, would allow a fully functioning nutrient uptake system to be established. View Full-Text
Keywords: plasmid; annotation; ecological islands; pathogenicity plasmid; annotation; ecological islands; pathogenicity

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Wachter, J.; Hill, S.A. In Silico Analysis of a Novel Plasmid from the Coral Pathogen Vibrio coralliilyticus Reveals Two Potential “Ecological Islands”. Microorganisms 2016, 4, 3.

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