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Genetic Aspects of Clostridium Botulinum

  • K. Oguma
  • M. Eklund
  • N. Fujii
  • F. Poysky
  • K. Kimura
  • N. Yokosawa
  • K. Tsuzuki

Abstract

The relationship of bacteriophages and plasmids to the production of neurotoxins was studied in strains of Clostridium botulinum types A through G. Neurotoxins C1 and D produced by types C and D, respectively, were shown to be mediated by specific bacteriophages. Evidence is presented that strongly suggests that both neurotoxin and bacteriocin production by type G are in some manner related to a 81-MDa plasmid carried by toxigenic strains.

Antigenicity and host range of four type C and three type D converting phages were studied. The phages were classified into three groups based on their antigenicity and host range: group 1 consisted of c-st and c-468 phages; group 2 was c-203, c-d6f, and d-1873: and group 3 was d-sa and d-4947.

Nucleic acids were extracted from groups 1 and 2 phages, and noncon- verting mutant phage (c)-n71 which was obtained from C-Stockholm strain as well as c-st phage. The susceptibility of phage DNAs to different types of nucleases was observed. It was concluded that the nucleic acids of all six phages were double-stranded DNA. The length of c-st, (c)-n71, c-468, and c-d6f phage DNAs was about 110 kilobase pairs and that of c-203 and d-1873 was 150 kilobase pairs. PstI digested the DNAs from two group 1 phages and (c)-n71 phage with very similar patterns, but did not digest the DNAs from group 2 phages. On the contrary, Sau3A digested only the DNAs from group 2 phages though the similarity of digestion patterns was low.

The existence of the structure genes for the toxin in these five converting phages belonging to groups 1 and 2 and (c)n-71 was confirmed by the hybridization the DNA sequence predicted for the N-terminal amino acids (2 to 17) of C. botulinum type C toxin. The loss of the converting ability of (c)-n71 phage may be caused not by the delection of tox+ gene but rather by the base mutation in c-st phage DNA.

Keywords

Acridine Orange Acridine Orange Phage DNAs Bacteriocin Production Clostridium Botulinum 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • K. Oguma
    • 1
  • M. Eklund
    • 2
  • N. Fujii
    • 1
  • F. Poysky
    • 2
  • K. Kimura
    • 1
  • N. Yokosawa
    • 1
  • K. Tsuzuki
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of MicrobiologySapporo Medical CollegeSapporoJapan
  2. 2.Northwest Fisheries Center Utilization Research DivisionU.S. Department of CommerceWashingtonUSA

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