Genomes of 184 Sinorhizobium meliloti native isolates were studied to test the occurence of islands Sme21T, Sme19T, and Sme80S previously described in the model strain Rm1021. This analysis was conducted using PCR methodology involving specific primers. It was demonstrated that, in the examined geographically distinct populations of S. meliloti from the Northern Caucasus (NCG) and the Aral Sea region (PAG), the strains containing genomic islands were observed with similar frequency (0.55 and 0.57, respectively). Island Sme80S, denoted as an island of “environmental adaptivity,” was identified predominantly (frequency of 0.38) in genomes of strains which exhibited a lower level of salt tolerance and was isolated in PAG, a modern center of introgressive hybridization of alfalfa subjected to salinity. Island Sme21T designated as “ancestral” was observed in genomes of strains isolated in NCG, the primary center of host-plant biodiversity, 10-fold more often than in strains from PAG. An island Sme19T, which predominantly carries genes encoding transposases, was observed in genomes of strains in both populations with average frequency of 0.10. The analysis of linkage disequilibrium (LD) based on the assessment of probability for detection of different islands combinations in genomes revealed an independent inheritance of islands in salt-sensitive strains of various geographic origin. In contrast, the absence of this trend was noted in the majority of the examined combinations of salt-tolerant strains. It was concluded that the structure of chromosome in PAG strains which predominantly possessed a salt-sensitive phenotype was subjected to active recombinant processes, which could predetermine the intensity of microevolutionary processes in bacterial populations and facilitate an adaptation of bacteria in adverse environmental effect.
Russian Journal of Genetics – Springer Journals
Published: Oct 20, 2016
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