Current Microbiology

, Volume 76, Issue 2, pp 159–167 | Cite as

Genome Comparisons of Wild Isolates of Caulobacter crescentus Reveal Rates of Inversion and Horizontal Gene Transfer

  • Bert ElyEmail author
  • Kiesha Wilson
  • Keshawn Ross
  • Damyen Ingram
  • Tajah Lewter
  • Jasmine Herring
  • David Duncan
  • Anthea Aikins
  • Derrick Scott


Since previous interspecies comparisons of Caulobacter genomes have revealed extensive genome rearrangements, we decided to compare the nucleotide sequences of four C. crescentus genomes, NA1000, CB1, CB2, and CB13. To accomplish this goal, we used PacBio sequencing technology to determine the nucleotide sequence of the CB1, CB2, and CB13 genomes, and obtained each genome sequence as a single contig. To correct for possible sequencing errors, each genome was sequenced twice. The only differences we observed between the two sets of independently determined sequences were random omissions of a single base in a small percentage of the homopolymer regions where a single base is repeated multiple times. Comparisons of these four genomes indicated that horizontal gene transfer events that included small numbers of genes occurred at frequencies in the range of 10−3 to 10−4 insertions per generation. Large insertions were about 100 times less frequent. Also, in contrast to previous interspecies comparisons, we found no genome rearrangements when the closely related NA1000, CB1, and CB2 genomes were compared, and only eight inversions and one translocation when the more distantly related CB13 genome was compared to the other genomes. Thus, we estimate that inversions occur at a rate of one per 10 to 12 million generations in Caulobacter genomes. The inversions seem to be complex events that include the simultaneous creation of indels.



This work was funded in part by NIH Grant GM076277 and by the NIH Institutional Development Award (IDeA) Grant Number P20GM103446 to DCS and by NIH Grant GM076277 to BE.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

284_2018_1606_MOESM1_ESM.docx (550 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 549 KB)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Bert Ely
    • 1
    Email author
  • Kiesha Wilson
    • 1
  • Keshawn Ross
    • 2
  • Damyen Ingram
    • 2
  • Tajah Lewter
    • 2
  • Jasmine Herring
    • 2
  • David Duncan
    • 2
  • Anthea Aikins
    • 2
  • Derrick Scott
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Biological SciencesUniversity of South CarolinaColumbiaUSA
  2. 2.Department of Biological SciencesDelaware State UniversityDoverUSA

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