We recently identified a pathogenicity island (SPI2) located at 30.7 centisomes on the Salmonella typhimurium chromosome. SPI2 contains genes encoding a type III secretion system whose function is distinct from that of the type III secretion system encoded by a pathogenicity island (SPI1) at 63 centisomes which is involved in epithelial cell entry. An analysis of the boundaries of SPI2 and comparison with the corresponding region of the Escherichia coli chromosome revealed that SPI2 inserted adjacent to the tRNA(Val) gene. The E. coli chromosome contains 9 kb of DNA at the region corresponding to the SPI2 insertion point which appears to be absent in S. typhimurium. The distribution of SPI1 and SPI2 was examined in various Salmonella isolates. In contrast to type III secretion system genes of SPI1, those of SPI2 are not present in Salmonella bongori, which diverged at the first branch point in the Salmonella lineage. These and other data indicate that SPI2 was acquired by a Salmonella strain already harboring SPI1 by horizontal transfer from an unknown source
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