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Plasmid pHH1 of Halobacterium salinarium: characterization of the replicon region, the gas vesicle gene cluster and insertion elements

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Abstract

The DNA sequence of the 5.7 kb plasmid pHH9 containing the replicon region of the 150 kb plasmid pHH1 from Halobacterium salinarium was determined. The minimal region necessary for stable plasmid maintenance lies within a 2.9 kb fragment, as defined by transformation experiments. The DNA sequence contained two open reading frames arranged in opposite orientations, separated by an unusually high AT-rich (60–70% A + T) sequence of 350 bp. All H. salinarium strains (H. halobium, H. cutirubrum) investigated harbour endogenous plasmids containing the pHH1 replicon; however, these pHH1-type plasmids differ by insertions and deletions. Adjacent to the replicon, and separated by a copy of each of the insertion elements ISH27 and ISH26, is the 9 kb p-vac region required for gas vesicle synthesis. Analysis of these and other ISH element copies in pHH1 revealed that most of them lack the target DNA duplication usually found with recently transposed ISH elements. These results underline the plasticity of plasmid pHH1.

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Correspondence to Felicitas Pfeifer.

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Communicated by W. Goebel

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Pfeifer, F., Ghahraman, P. Plasmid pHH1 of Halobacterium salinarium: characterization of the replicon region, the gas vesicle gene cluster and insertion elements. Molec. Gen. Genet. 238, 193–200 (1993). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00279547

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Key words

  • Halobacterial transformation
  • Transposable elements
  • Deletions
  • Inversions
  • Rearrangements