High intragenomic heterogeneity of 16S rRNA genes in a subset of Vibrio vulnificus strains from the western Mediterranean coast Authors Covadonga R. Arias Oscar Oliveras-Fuster Johan Goris Keywords: Vibrio vulnificus, 16S rRNA genes, intraspecies heterogeneity, waterborne bacterial pathogens Abstract Heterogeneity among ribosomal operons in Vibrio vulnificus is purported as a probabilistic indicator of strain virulence and classifies V. vulnificus strains as 16S rRNA genes type A and B. In this study, 16S rRNA genes typing of V. vulnificus strains isolated from the Valencia city coast, in the western Mediterranean, showed that 24 out of 30 isolates were type A, one was type B and five could not be typed. Single strand conformation polymorphism (SSCP) analysis of this gene region revealed complex patterns indicative of intragenomic ribosomal operon sequence heterogeneity. The 16S rRNA genes of three untypeable isolates C27, C30, and C34, along with type A (ATCC 27562) and B (C7184) reference strains, were amplified, cloned and sequenced. The number of unique 16S rRNA gene sequences was 4, 3, and 4 for the environmental isolates. The type strain of the species (ATCC 27562) presented only two 16S rRNA gene types, while the reference isolate C7184 of clinical origin had only one 16S rRNA gene type. Sequences differed from five to 35 bp (99.6% to 97.6% sequence similarity). Areas of variability concentrated in helices 10, 18, and 37 and included variants with short intervening sequences in helix 10. Most of the substitutions showed compensatory mutations suggesting ancient sequence divergence generated by lateral genetransfer. [Int Microbiol 2010; 13(4):179-188] Downloads PDF Published 2011-09-23 Issue Vol. 13 No. 4 (2010) Section Research Articles License Submission of a manuscript to International Microbiology implies: that the work described has not been published before, including publication in the World Wide Web (except in the form of an Abstract or as part of a published lecture, review, or thesis); that it is not under consideration for publication elsewhere; that all the coauthors have agreed to its publication. The corresponding author signs for and accepts responsability for releasing this material and will act on behalf of any and all coauthors regarding the editorial review and publication process.If an article is accepted for publication in International Microbiology, the authors (or other copyright holder) must transfer to the journal the right–not exclusive–to reproduce and distribute the article including reprints, translations, photographic reproductions, microform, electronic form (offline, online) or any other reproductions of similar nature. Nevertheless, all article in International Microbiology will be available on the Internet to any reader at no cost. The journal allows users to freely download, copy, print, distribute, search, and link to the full text of any article, provided the authorship and source of the published article is cited. The copyright owner's consent does not include copying for new works, or resale. In these cases, the specific written permission of International Microbiology must first be obtained.Authors are requested to create a link to the published article on the journal's website. The link must be accompanied by the following text: "The original publication is available on LINK at <http://www.im.microbios.org>. Please use the appropiate URL for the article in LINK. Articles disseminated via LINK are indexed, abstracted, and referenced by many abstracting and information services, bibliographic networks, subscription agencies, library networks, and consortia.