Polymorphism and gene conversion of the 16S rRNA genes in the multiple rRNA operons of Vibrio parahaemolyticus
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The genome sequence of a strain of Vibrio parahaemolyticus holds 11 copies of rRNA operons (rrn) with identical 16S rRNA genes (rrs). Conversely, the species type strain contains two rrs classes differing in 10 nucleotide sites within a short segment of 25 bp. Furthermore, we show here that the sequence of this particular segment largely differs between some strains of this species. We also show that of the eleven rrn operons in the species type strain, seven contain one rrs class and four the other, indicating gene conversion. Our results support the hypothesis that the rrs differences observed between strains of this species were caused by lateral transfer of an rrs segment and subsequent conversion. Â© 2005 Federation of European Microbiological Societies.