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Paenibacillus larvae 16S–23S rDNA intergenic transcribed spacer (ITS) regions: DNA fingerprinting and characterization

Dingman, Douglas W.
Journal of invertebrate pathology 2012 v.110 no.3 pp. 352-358
American foul brood, Apis mellifera, DNA fingerprinting, Paenibacillus larvae, agarose, bacteria, digestion, honey bees, internal transcribed spacers, larvae, migratory behavior, mung beans, nucleotides, operon, polymerase chain reaction, pulsed-field gel electrophoresis, ribosomal DNA, ribosomal RNA, sequence analysis, Argentina, Chile, Connecticut
Paenibacillus larvae is the causative agent of American foulbrood in honey bee (Apis mellifera) larvae. PCR amplification of the 16S–23S ribosomal DNA (rDNA) intergenic transcribed spacer (ITS) regions, and agarose gel electrophoresis of the amplified DNA, was performed using genomic DNA collected from 134 P. larvae strains isolated in Connecticut, six Northern Regional Research Laboratory stock strains, four strains isolated in Argentina, and one strain isolated in Chile. Following electrophoresis of amplified DNA, all isolates exhibited a common migratory profile (i.e., ITS-PCR fingerprint pattern) of six DNA bands. This profile represented a unique ITS-PCR DNA fingerprint that was useful as a fast, simple, and accurate procedure for identification of P. larvae. Digestion of ITS-PCR amplified DNA, using mung bean nuclease prior to electrophoresis, characterized only three of the six electrophoresis bands as homoduplex DNA and indicating three true ITS regions. These three ITS regions, DNA migratory band sizes of 915, 1010, and 1474bp, signify a minimum of three types of rrn operons within P. larvae. DNA sequence analysis of ITS region DNA, using P. larvae NRRL B-3553, identified the 3′ terminal nucleotides of the 16S rRNA gene, 5′ terminal nucleotides of the 23S rRNA gene, and the complete DNA sequences of the 5S rRNA, tRNAᵃˡᵃ, and tRNAⁱˡᵉ genes. Gene organization within the three rrn operon types was 16S–23S, 16S–tRNAᵃˡᵃ–23S, and l6S–5S–tRNAⁱˡᵉ–tRNAᵃˡᵃ–23S and these operons were named rrnA, rrnF, and rrnG, respectively. The 23S rRNA gene was shown by I-CeuI digestion and pulsed-field gel electrophoresis of genomic DNA to be present as seven copies. This was suggestive of seven rrn operon copies within the P. larvae genome. Investigation of the 16S–23S rDNA regions of this bacterium has aided the development of a diagnostic procedure and has helped genomic mapping investigations via characterization of the ITS regions.