pCP13, a representative of a new family of conjugative toxin plasmids in Clostridium perfringens

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

Conjugative transfer is a major contributor to the dissemination of antibiotic resistance and virulence genes in the human and animal pathogen, Clostridium perfringens. The C. perfringens plasmid pCW3 is the archetype of an extensive family of highly related conjugative toxin and antibiotic resistance plasmids found in this bacterium. These plasmids were thought to constitute the only conjugative plasmid family in C. perfringens. Recently, another series of C. perfringens plasmids, the pCP13-like family, have been shown to harbour important toxin genes, including genes that encode the novel binary clostridial enterotoxin, BEC. Based on early bioinformatics analysis this plasmid family was thought to be non-conjugative. Here we demonstrate that pCP13 is in fact conjugative, transfers at high frequency and that the newly defined Pcp conjugation locus encodes putative homologues of a type 4 secretion system (T4SS), one of which, PcpB4, was shown to be essential for transfer. The T4SS of pCP13 also appears to be evolutionarily related to conjugative toxin plasmids from other clostridia-like species, including Paeniclostridium (formerly Clostridium) sordellii, Clostridioides (formerly Clostridium) difficile and Clostridium botulinum. Therefore, it is clear that there are two distinct families of conjugative plasmids in C. perfringens: the pCW3 family and the pCP13 family. This study has significant implications for our understanding of the movement of toxin genes both within C. perfringens, but also potentially to other pathogenic clostridia.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)37-45
Number of pages9
JournalPlasmid
Volume102
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2019

Keywords

  • BEC toxin
  • Clostridium perfringens
  • Conjugation
  • pCP13
  • Plasmid
  • VirB4

Cite this

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title = "pCP13, a representative of a new family of conjugative toxin plasmids in Clostridium perfringens",
abstract = "Conjugative transfer is a major contributor to the dissemination of antibiotic resistance and virulence genes in the human and animal pathogen, Clostridium perfringens. The C. perfringens plasmid pCW3 is the archetype of an extensive family of highly related conjugative toxin and antibiotic resistance plasmids found in this bacterium. These plasmids were thought to constitute the only conjugative plasmid family in C. perfringens. Recently, another series of C. perfringens plasmids, the pCP13-like family, have been shown to harbour important toxin genes, including genes that encode the novel binary clostridial enterotoxin, BEC. Based on early bioinformatics analysis this plasmid family was thought to be non-conjugative. Here we demonstrate that pCP13 is in fact conjugative, transfers at high frequency and that the newly defined Pcp conjugation locus encodes putative homologues of a type 4 secretion system (T4SS), one of which, PcpB4, was shown to be essential for transfer. The T4SS of pCP13 also appears to be evolutionarily related to conjugative toxin plasmids from other clostridia-like species, including Paeniclostridium (formerly Clostridium) sordellii, Clostridioides (formerly Clostridium) difficile and Clostridium botulinum. Therefore, it is clear that there are two distinct families of conjugative plasmids in C. perfringens: the pCW3 family and the pCP13 family. This study has significant implications for our understanding of the movement of toxin genes both within C. perfringens, but also potentially to other pathogenic clostridia.",
keywords = "BEC toxin, Clostridium perfringens, Conjugation, pCP13, Plasmid, VirB4",
author = "Watts, {Thomas D.} and Vidor, {Callum J.} and Awad, {Milena M.} and Dena Lyras and Rood, {Julian I.} and Vicki Adams",
year = "2019",
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language = "English",
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pCP13, a representative of a new family of conjugative toxin plasmids in Clostridium perfringens. / Watts, Thomas D.; Vidor, Callum J.; Awad, Milena M.; Lyras, Dena; Rood, Julian I.; Adams, Vicki.

In: Plasmid, Vol. 102, 01.03.2019, p. 37-45.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

TY - JOUR

T1 - pCP13, a representative of a new family of conjugative toxin plasmids in Clostridium perfringens

AU - Watts, Thomas D.

AU - Vidor, Callum J.

AU - Awad, Milena M.

AU - Lyras, Dena

AU - Rood, Julian I.

AU - Adams, Vicki

PY - 2019/3/1

Y1 - 2019/3/1

N2 - Conjugative transfer is a major contributor to the dissemination of antibiotic resistance and virulence genes in the human and animal pathogen, Clostridium perfringens. The C. perfringens plasmid pCW3 is the archetype of an extensive family of highly related conjugative toxin and antibiotic resistance plasmids found in this bacterium. These plasmids were thought to constitute the only conjugative plasmid family in C. perfringens. Recently, another series of C. perfringens plasmids, the pCP13-like family, have been shown to harbour important toxin genes, including genes that encode the novel binary clostridial enterotoxin, BEC. Based on early bioinformatics analysis this plasmid family was thought to be non-conjugative. Here we demonstrate that pCP13 is in fact conjugative, transfers at high frequency and that the newly defined Pcp conjugation locus encodes putative homologues of a type 4 secretion system (T4SS), one of which, PcpB4, was shown to be essential for transfer. The T4SS of pCP13 also appears to be evolutionarily related to conjugative toxin plasmids from other clostridia-like species, including Paeniclostridium (formerly Clostridium) sordellii, Clostridioides (formerly Clostridium) difficile and Clostridium botulinum. Therefore, it is clear that there are two distinct families of conjugative plasmids in C. perfringens: the pCW3 family and the pCP13 family. This study has significant implications for our understanding of the movement of toxin genes both within C. perfringens, but also potentially to other pathogenic clostridia.

AB - Conjugative transfer is a major contributor to the dissemination of antibiotic resistance and virulence genes in the human and animal pathogen, Clostridium perfringens. The C. perfringens plasmid pCW3 is the archetype of an extensive family of highly related conjugative toxin and antibiotic resistance plasmids found in this bacterium. These plasmids were thought to constitute the only conjugative plasmid family in C. perfringens. Recently, another series of C. perfringens plasmids, the pCP13-like family, have been shown to harbour important toxin genes, including genes that encode the novel binary clostridial enterotoxin, BEC. Based on early bioinformatics analysis this plasmid family was thought to be non-conjugative. Here we demonstrate that pCP13 is in fact conjugative, transfers at high frequency and that the newly defined Pcp conjugation locus encodes putative homologues of a type 4 secretion system (T4SS), one of which, PcpB4, was shown to be essential for transfer. The T4SS of pCP13 also appears to be evolutionarily related to conjugative toxin plasmids from other clostridia-like species, including Paeniclostridium (formerly Clostridium) sordellii, Clostridioides (formerly Clostridium) difficile and Clostridium botulinum. Therefore, it is clear that there are two distinct families of conjugative plasmids in C. perfringens: the pCW3 family and the pCP13 family. This study has significant implications for our understanding of the movement of toxin genes both within C. perfringens, but also potentially to other pathogenic clostridia.

KW - BEC toxin

KW - Clostridium perfringens

KW - Conjugation

KW - pCP13

KW - Plasmid

KW - VirB4

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U2 - 10.1016/j.plasmid.2019.02.002

DO - 10.1016/j.plasmid.2019.02.002

M3 - Article

VL - 102

SP - 37

EP - 45

JO - Plasmid

JF - Plasmid

SN - 0147-619X

ER -