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Bacteria can acquire an accessory genome through the horizontal transfer of genetic elements from non-parental lineages. This leads to rapid genetic evolution allowing traits such as antibiotic resistance and virulence to spread through bacterial communities. The study of complete genomes of bacterial strains helps to understand the genomic traits associated with virulence and antibiotic resistance. We aimed to investigate the complete accessory genome of an ocular isolate of Pseudomonas aeruginosa strain PA34. We obtained the complete genome of PA34 utilising genome sequence reads from Illumina and Oxford Nanopore Technology followed by PCR to close any identified gaps. In-depth genomic analysis was performed using various bioinformatics tools. The susceptibility to heavy metals and cytotoxicity was determined to confirm expression of certain traits. The complete genome of PA34 includes a chromosome of 6.8 Mbp and two plasmids of 95.4 Kbp (pMKPA34-1) and 26.8 Kbp (pMKPA34-2). PA34 had a large accessory genome of 1,213 genes and had 543 unique genes not present in other strains. These exclusive genes encoded features related to metal and antibiotic resistance, phage integrase and transposons. At least 24 genomic islands (GIs) were predicated in the complete chromosome, of which two were integrated into novel sites. Eleven GIs carried virulence factors or replaced pathogenic genes. A bacteriophage carried the aminoglycoside resistance gene (AAC(3)-IId). The two plasmids carried other six antibiotic resistance genes. The large accessory genome of this ocular isolate plays a large role in shaping its virulence and antibiotic resistance.
This article was published in the following journal.
Name: PloS one
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