Potential dissemination mechanism of the tetC gene in Aeromonas media from the aerobic biofilm reactor under oxytetracycline stresses

Zhe Tian , Yanhong Shi , Yu Zhang , Xiangyang Wu , Hong Zhang , Min Yang


Received December 31, 2020,Revised , Accepted December 31, 2020, Available online January 15, 2021

Volume 33,2021,Pages 90-99

The tetC gene has been found to be one of the most widely distributed tetracycline resistance (tet) genes in various environmental niches, but the detailed dissemination mechanisms are still largely unknown. In the present study, 11 tetC-containing Aeromonas media strains were isolated from an aerobic biofilm reactor under oxytetracycline stresses, and the genome of one strain was sequenced using the PacBio RSII sequencing approach to reveal the genetic environment of tetC. The tetC gene was carried by an IS26 composite transposon, named Tn6434. The tetC-carrying Tn6434 structure was detected in all of the A. media strains either in a novel plasmid pAeme2 (n=9) or other DNA molecules (n=2) by PCR screening. The NCBI database searching result shows that this structure was also present in the plasmids or chromosomes of other 13 genera, indicating the transferability of Tn6434. Inverse PCR and sequencing confirmed that Tn6434 can form a circular intermediate and is able to incorporate into a preexisting IS26 element, suggesting that Tn6434 might be responsible for the dissemination of tetC between different DNA molecules. This study will be helpful in uncovering the spread mechanism of tet genes in water environments.

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