Journal of Molecular Evolution

, Volume 60, Issue 4, pp 546–556 | Cite as

Phage Associated Bacteriocins Reveal a Novel Mechanism for Bacteriocin Diversification in Klebsiella

  • Milind Chavan
  • Hamid Rafi
  • John Wertz
  • Carla Goldstone
  • Margaret A. Riley


Ninety-six isolates of Klebsiellapneumoniae and K.oxytoca were recovered from wild mammals in Australia. 14.6% of these bacteria produce killing phenotypes that suggest the production of bacteriocin toxins. Cloning and sequencing of the gene clusters encoding two of these killing phenotypes revealed two instances of a bacteriocin associated with a bacteriophage gene, the first such genetic organization described. The newly identified klebicin C gene cluster was discovered in both K.pneumoniae and K.oxytoca. The newly identified klebicin D gene cluster was detected in K.oxytoca. Protein sequence comparisons and phylogenetic inference suggest that klebicin C is most closely related to the rRNase group of colicins (such as colicin E4), while klebicin D is most closely related to the tRNase group of colicins (such as colicin D). The klebicin C and D gene clusters have similar genetic and regulatory organizations. In both cases, an operon structure is inferred consisting of a phage-associated open reading frame and klebicin activity and associated immunity genes. This novel bacteriophage/bacteriocin organization may provide a novel mechanism for the generation of bacteriocin diversity in Klebsiella.


Klebicin Colicin Diversification Enteric bacteria Klebsiella 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Milind Chavan
    • 2
  • Hamid Rafi
    • 1
  • John Wertz
    • 1
  • Carla Goldstone
    • 1
  • Margaret A. Riley
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Ecology and Evolutionary BiologyYale UniversityNew HavenUSA
  2. 2.Department of BiologyUniversity of Massachusetts AmherstAmherstUSA

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