Journal of Molecular Evolution

, Volume 68, Issue 5, pp 498–505 | Cite as

Prevalence and Acquisition of the Genes for Zoocin A and Zoocin A Resistance in Streptococcus equi subsp. zooepidemicus

  • Amy S. Gargis
  • Anna-Lee D. O’Rourke
  • Gary L. Sloan
  • Robin S. Simmonds


Zoocin A is a streptococcolytic enzyme produced by Streptococcus equi subsp. zooepidemicus strain 4881. The zoocin A gene (zooA) and the gene specifying resistance to zoocin A (zif) are adjacent on the chromosome and are divergently transcribed. Twenty-four S. equi subsp. zooepidemicus strains were analyzed to determine the genetic difference among three previously characterized as zoocin A producers (strains 4881, 9g, and 9h) and the 21 nonproducers. LT-PCR and Southern hybridization studies revealed that none of the nonproducer strains possessed zooA or zif. RAPD and PFGE showed that the 24 strains were a genetically diverse population with eight RAPD profiles. S. equi subsp. zooepidemicus strains 9g and 9h appeared to be genetically identical to each other but quite different from strain 4881. Sequences derived from 4881 and 9g showed that zooA and zif were integrated into the chromosome adjacent to the gene flaR. A comparison of these sequences with the genome sequences of S. equi subsp. zooepidemicus strains H70 and MGCS10565 and S. equi subsp. equi strain 4047 suggests that flaR flanks a region of genome plasticity in this species.


Zoocin A Peptidoglycan hydrolase Horizontal gene transfer RAPD PFGE 



This work was supported in part by Grant Number R03AI073412 (to G.L.S.) from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases or the National Institutes of Health.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Amy S. Gargis
    • 1
  • Anna-Lee D. O’Rourke
    • 2
  • Gary L. Sloan
    • 1
  • Robin S. Simmonds
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Biological SciencesThe University of AlabamaTuscaloosaUSA
  2. 2.Microbiology DepartmentUniversity of OtagoDunedinNew Zealand

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