Identification, sequencing and comparative analysis of pBp15.S plasmid from the newly described entomopathogen Bacillus pumilus 15.1.

PMID 26416357


The Bacillus pumilus 15.1 strain, a recently described entomopathogenic strain active against Ceratitis capitata, contains at least two extrachromosomal elements, pBp15.1S and pBp15.1B. Given that B. pumilus is not a typical entomopathogenic bacterium, the acquisition of this extrachromosomal DNA may explain why B. pumilus 15.1 is toxic to an insect. One of the plasmids present in the strain, the pBp15.1S plasmid, was sub-cloned, sequenced and analyzed using bioinformatics to identify any potential virulence factor. The pBp15.1S plasmid was found to be 7785 bp in size with a GC content of 35.7% and 11 putative ORFs. A replication module typical of a small rolling circle plasmid and a sensing and regulatory system specific for plasmids was found in pBp15.1S. Additionally, we demonstrated the existence of ssDNA in plasmid preparations suggesting that pBp15.1S replicates by the small rolling circle mechanism. A gene cluster present in plasmid pPZZ84 from a distantly isolated B. pumilus strain was also present in pBp15.1S. The plasmid copy number of pBp15.1S in exponentially growing B. pumilus cells was determined to be 33 copies per chromosome. After an extensive plasmid characterization, no known virulence factor was found so a search in the other extrachromosomal elements of the bacteria is needed.