ISPa20 advances the individual evolution ofPseudomonas aeruginosaclone C subclone C13 strains isolated from cystic fibrosis patients by insertional mutagenesis and genomic rearrangements

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Pseudomonas aeruginosa clone C strains, which chronically colonize the lungs of cystic fibrosis patients reorganize their genome structure. In this study, a novel member of the IS3 subfamily of IS elements, ISPa20, was detected which was specific for clone C subclone C13 strains. ISPa20, which was present in high copy number, mediated events of genomic reorganization. ISPa20 was inserted into P. aeruginosa backbone genes leading to adaptation to the cystic fibrosis lung habitat and into DNA acquired through horizontal gene transfer. Further on, large chromosomal inversions were mediated by ISPa20. In contrast to strains of other subclonal linages high rates of genomic rearrangements of subclone C13 strains were observed in vitro. The acquisition of mobile elements by P. aeruginosa clone C strains in the lungs of cystic fibrosis patients supports the chronic colonization by insertional mutagenesis and chromosome restructuring leading to microevolution within clone C that reflects macroevolution observed on the species level.

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