Archives of Microbiology

, Volume 185, Issue 6, pp 449–458 | Cite as

Detection of a Phage Genome Carrying a Zonula Occludens like Toxin Gene (zot) in clinical isolates of Stenotrophomonas maltophilia

  • Martin HagemannEmail author
  • Dirk Hasse
  • Gabriele Berg
Original Paper


During a study of the genetic diversity of Stenotrophomonas strains, we found an autonomous replicating DNA molecule in chromosomal DNA preparations of the clinical Stenotrophomonas maltophilia strain c5. The entire sequence of 6,907 bp of the isolated DNA molecule was determined, which was called φSMA9. Seven ORFs, which code for proteins with considerable similarity to proteins in databases, were identified in the DNA sequence. The largest ORF shows high sequence similarities to the pI protein of the filamentous phage φLf, which was later shown to be identical to toxin Zot of Vibrio cholerae. Beside the Zot-like protein, six other proteins with similarities to known phage proteins such as a phage replication protein RstA and phage absorption or coat protein are encoded on φSMA9, which indicate that this circular DNA molecule represents the replicative form of a linear phage genome. A PCR-based screening showed that only five from the totally investigated 47 Stenotrophomonas strains of clinical and environmental origin harbor these genes. Altogether, we describe the first genome of a phage for the nosocomial pathogen Stenotrophomonas, which contains a Zot toxin like gene and might be regarded as the first Stenotrophomonas virulence factor.


Clinical isolates Cluster analysis Phage sequence 



The work was supported by a grant of the DFG (Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft). Many thanks are to Dr. M. K. Walden, Tufts University, Boston, USA, for helpful discussion. We would like to thank the Sanger Institute and Wellcome Trust for making the S. maltophilia strain 279a genome sequence already available for the public.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institut für Biowissenschaften, PflanzenphysiologieUniversität RostockRostockGermany
  2. 2.Institut für Biowissenschaften, MikrobiologieUniversität RostockRostockGermany
  3. 3.Department Environmental BiotechnologyGraz University of TechnologyGrazAustria

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