Cupriavidus metallidurans strains with different mobilomes and from distinct environments have comparable phenomes

Rob Van Houdt, Ann Provoost, Ado Van Assche, Natalie Leys, Bart Lievens, Kristel Mijnendonckx, Pieter Monsieurs

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Cupriavidus metallidurans has been mostly studied because of its resistance to numerous heavy metals and is increasingly being recovered from other environments not typified by metal contamination. They host a large and diverse mobile gene pool, next to their native megaplasmids. Here, we used comparative genomics and global metabolic comparison to assess the impact of the mobilome on growth capabilities, nutrient utilization, and sensitivity to chemicals of type strain CH34 and three isolates (NA1, NA4 and H1130). The latter were isolated from water sources aboard the International Space Station (NA1 and NA4) and from an invasive human infection (H1130). The mobilome was expanded as prophages were predicted in NA4 and H1130, and a genomic island putatively involved in abietane diterpenoids metabolism was identified in H1130. An active CRISPR-Cas system was identified in strain NA4, providing immunity to a plasmid that integrated in CH34 and NA1. No correlation between the mobilome and isolation environment was found. In addition, our comparison indicated that the metal resistance determinants and properties are conserved among these strains and thus maintained in these environments. Furthermore, all strains were highly resistant to a wide variety of chemicals, much broader than metals. Only minor differences were observed in the phenomes (measured by phenotype microarrays), despite the large difference in mobilomes and the variable (shared by two or three strains) and strain-specific genomes.

Original languageEnglish
Article number507
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 2018
Externally publishedYes


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