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Characterization of a Spontaneous Nonmagnetic Mutant of Magnetospirillum gryphiswaldense Reveals a Large Deletion Comprising a Putative Magnetosome Island

By Sabrina Schübbe, Michael Kube, André Scheffel, Cathrin Wawer, Udo Heyen, Anke Meyerdierks, Mohamed H. Madkour, Frank Mayer, Richard Reinhardt and Dirk Schüler


Frequent spontaneous loss of the magnetic phenotype was observed in stationary-phase cultures of the magnetotactic bacterium Magnetospirillum gryphiswaldense MSR-1. A nonmagnetic mutant, designated strain MSR-1B, was isolated and characterized. The mutant lacked any structures resembling magnetosome crystals as well as internal membrane vesicles. The growth of strain MSR-1B was impaired under all growth conditions tested, and the uptake and accumulation of iron were drastically reduced under iron-replete conditions. A large chromosomal deletion of approximately 80 kb was identified in strain MSR-1B, which comprised both the entire mamAB and mamDC clusters as well as further putative operons encoding a number of magnetosome-associated proteins. A bacterial artificial chromosome clone partially covering the deleted region was isolated from the genomic library of wild-type M. gryphiswaldense. Sequence analysis of this fragment revealed that all previously identified mam genes were closely linked with genes encoding other magnetosome-associated proteins within less than 35 kb. In addition, this region was remarkably rich in insertion elements and harbored a considerable number of unknown gene families which appeared to be specific for magnetotactic bacteria. Overall, these findings suggest the existence of a putative large magnetosome island in M. gryphiswaldense and other magnetotactic bacteria

Topics: Genetics and Molecular Biology
Publisher: American Society for Microbiology
Year: 2003
DOI identifier: 10.1128/JB.185.19.5779-5790.2003
OAI identifier:
Provided by: PubMed Central
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