2010 Volume 25 Issue 4 Pages 295-301
The cyanophage Ma-LMM01, specifically-infecting Microcystis aeruginosa, has an insertion sequence (IS) element that we named IS607-cp showing high nucleotide similarity to a counterpart in the genome of the cyanobacterium Cyanothece sp. We tested 21 strains of M. aeruginosa for the presence of IS607-cp using PCR and detected the element in strains NIES90, NIES112, NIES604, and RM6. Thermal asymmetric interlaced PCR (TAIL-PCR) revealed each of these strains has multiple copies of IS607-cp. Some of the ISs were classified into three types based on their inserted positions; IS607-cp-1 is common in strains NIES90, NIES112 and NIES604, whereas IS607-cp-2 and IS607-cp-3 are specific to strains NIES90 and RM6, respectively. This multiplicity may reflect the replicative transposition of IS607-cp. The sequence of IS607-cp in Ma-LMM01 showed robust affinity to those found in M. aeruginosa and Cyanothece spp. in a phylogenetic tree inferred from counterparts of various bacteria. This suggests the transfer of IS607-cp between the cyanobacterium and its cyanophage. We discuss the potential role of Ma-LMM01-related phages as donors of IS elements that may mediate the transfer of IS607-cp; and thereby partially contribute to the genome plasticity of M. aeruginosa.