Author(s): Meinersmann RJ, Phillips RW, Ladely SR
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Abstract An intervening sequence (IVS) can be present or absent in the 23S rRNA of Campylobacter jejuni and Campylobacter coli. As part of a survey, we used a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assay to detect the presence of the IVS in 43 isolates of C. coli and 82 isolates of C. jejuni. An IVS was present in 40 (93.0\%) of the C. coli and only 34 (41.5\%) of the C. jejuni isolates. Twelve (27.9\%) of the C. coli isolates and seven (8.5\%) of the C. jejuni isolates resulted in two polymerase chain reaction products, indicating heterogeneity in the presence of the 23S rRNA IVS. Fourteen of the isolates with two products were evaluated by pulse-field gel electrophoresis; 13 different patterns were observed. The total band size of one isolate was substantially greater than the expected 1.7 Mb, possibly indicating a mixed culture. Southern blot analyses demonstrated the expected three rRNA operons in all tested isolates. Nested PCR reactions with operon-specific primers followed by primers for the IVS confirmed that the strains of interest contained either one or two operons carrying the IVS and the remaining operon(s) did not. Sequence analysis of the IVS and flanking regions of the 23S rRNA genes did not discriminate C. jejuni and C. coli as distinct populations. These results indicate horizontal transfer of 23S rRNA genes or portions of the genes between C. jejuni and C. coli. Also, data showing sequence polymorphisms between the three 23S rRNA loci outside of the IVS region suggest that the isolates with intra-genomic heterogeneity appear to be members of clones that have an ancient defect in gene conversion mechanisms needed for concerted evolution of the ribosomal operons.
This article was published in Syst Appl Microbiol
and referenced in Journal of Data Mining in Genomics & Proteomics