The phylogenetic interrelationships between strains of 5 toxin types (A to E) of Clostridium perfringens were examined by analysis of differences in the nucleotide sequences of phospholipase C genes (plc genes) among 10 strains, including 3 strains for which the pie gene sequences have been previously reported. A plc gene was also cloned from a Clostridium novyi type A strain and sequenced to analyze the interspecies diversity of plc genes. Phylogenetic trees constructed by the neighbor-joining method revealed that the phylogeny of C. perfringens strains is nut related to toxin typing, in agreement with the results of a comparative genome mapping study by Canard et al. (B. Canard, B. Saint-Joanis, and S. T. Cole, Mol. Microbiol. 6:1421- 1429, 1992). Various C. perfringens phospholipase C enzymes were purified from cultures of Escherichia coli cells into which the encoding plc genes had been cloned. All of the enzymes showed the same specific activity. On the other hand, the level of plc transcripts differed greatly (up to 40-fold) from one C. perfringens strain to another. No significant difference in the nucleotide sequence of the plc promoter region was observed for any of the plc genes. These results suggest that the variation in phospholipase C activity among different strains is not due to mutation in the plc coding region but to that in an extragenic region. The evolution of C. perfringens phospholipase C is discussed on the basis of similarities and differences between clostridial plc genes.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Biology