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The Distribution of Polyhedral Bacterial Microcompartments Suggests Frequent Horizontal Transfer and Operon Reassembly | OMICS International | Abstract
ISSN: 2329-9002

Journal of Phylogenetics & Evolutionary Biology
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Research Article

The Distribution of Polyhedral Bacterial Microcompartments Suggests Frequent Horizontal Transfer and Operon Reassembly

Farah Abdul-Rahman1, Elsa Petit1 and Jeffrey L Blanchard2,3,4*
1 Department of Microbiology; University of Massachusetts Amherst, Amherst, MA 01003 United States of America
2 Organismal and Evolutionary Biology Graduate Program; University of Massachusetts Amherst, Amherst, MA 01003 United States of America
3 Molecular and Cellular Biology Graduate Program, University of Massachusetts Amherst, Amherst, MA 01003 United States of America
4 Biology Department, University of Massachusetts Amherst, Amherst, MA 01003 United States of America
Corresponding Author : Jeffrey L Blanchard
Biology Department, 221 Morrill Science Center South
611 North Pleasant Street
University of Massachusetts Amherst, Amherst, USA
Tel: 413-577-2130
Fax: 413-545-3243
E-mail: [email protected]
Received July 27, 2013; Accepted September 12, 2013; Published September 14, 2013
Citation: Abdul-Rahman F, Petit E, Blanchard JL (2013) The Distribution of Polyhedral Bacterial Microcompartments Suggests Frequent Horizontal Transfer and Operon Reassembly. J Phylogen Evolution Biol 1:118. doi: 10.4172/2329-9002.1000118
Copyright: © 2013 Viviano J, et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
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Abstract

Bacterial microcompartments (BMCs) are proteinaceous organelles that carry out specific metabolic reactions. Using domain representations of the BMC shell proteins, we identified BMCs in genomes of 358 bacterial species including human gut microbes, bioremediation agents, cellulosic ethanol producers, and pathogens. Multiple BMCs of different metabolic types are present in 40% of the BMC-containing genomes. BMC genes frequently clustered at a single locus that includes enzymes related to the compartment’s metabolic function. The distribution of BMC-containin species was mapped onto a phylogenetic tree constructed from 16S rRNA sequences. The presence of BMCs was sporadically distributed across the phylogenetic tree. All bacterial families that contained species with BMCs also had species without them. Even within a species, BMC number varied, indicative of frequent horizontal transfer and gene loss. Similarly, phylogenetic trees constructed from individual BMC genes indicated that horizontal gene transfer of the BMC loci is a common occurrence.

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