Link to Pubmed [PMID] – 17159208
Microbiology (Reading, Engl.) 2006 Dec;152(Pt 12):3561-8
The lvh region of the Legionella pneumophila genome, which encodes a type IV secretion system, is located on a plasmid-like element in strains Paris (pP36) and Philadelphia (pLP45). The pP36 element has been described either integrated in the chromosome or excised as a multi-copy plasmid, in a similar manner to pLP45. In this paper, the chromosomal integration of pP36 in the Paris strain genome was described, occurring through site-specific recombination at the 3′ end of a transfer-messenger RNA gene by recombination between attachment sites, in a similar manner to pathogenicity islands. This integration was growth-phase dependent, occurring during the exponential phase. Several pP36-borne genes were expressed during the lag phase of bacterial growth, coinciding with the peak amount of the episomal form of pP36. Expression of the same genes decreased during the exponential and stationary phases, owing to the integration phenomenon and a loss of episomal copies of pP36. A similar plasmid-like element was described in the Lens strain genome, suggesting that the mobility of the lvh region is a phenomenon widespread among Legionella sp.