Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
Summary We have shown that the IS15 element, first detected in Salmonella ordonez and previously designated IS1522 (Labigne-Roussel et al. 1981), could transpose, with an approximate frequency of 5x10-5, to various sites of different replicons in an Escherichia coli host deficient for general homologous recombination. Physical mapping with restriction endonucleases of this 1,500 base pairs (bp) transposable module indicated the presence of two, possibly contiguous, directly repeated internal sequences, at least 480 bp in size. IS15 could generate in vivo, by intramolecular recombination between the two direct repeats, IS15-Δ, which is 830 bp in size. The reverse transition, IS15-Δ to IS15, was not observed. The two related structural forms of IS15 were detected, by Southern hybridization, on plasmids belonging to various incompatibility groups (Inc6-C, I1, 7-M, and Y) isolated from phylogenetically remote pathogenic bacterial genera (Escherichia coli, Salmonella panama, Enterobacter cloacae, and Acinetobacter calcoaceticus). Whereas IS15 could promote its own transposition and transposition of DNA fragments it flanked, IS15-Δ resulting from the 670 bp ‘clean’ deletion and representing the most common natural deletion derivative could only induce replicon fusion. It appears, therefore, that the two structural configurations of IS15 have evolved to play, by transposition, distinct and complementary roles in bacterial evolution.
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