Mai Po Nature Reserve is the largest mangrove ecosystem and the most polluted coastal water body in Hong Kong. Plasmids screening of 100 Vibrio isolates randomly showed 45 % of them contained 1-3 plasmids. These plasmid(s)-bearing isolates could be divided into 12 groups based on their plasmid profiles. Phylogenetic analysis of the partial 16S rRNA gene sequences confirmed that all plasmid(s)-bearing isolates belonged to Vibrio cholerae. Full DNA sequences of the plasmids in Groups I (pVCG1.1 and pVCG1.2), II (pVCG2.1), III (pVCG3.2) and IV (pVCG4.1) have been determined and the results showed that pVCG1.1, pVCG2.1 and pVCG3.2 were almost identical. Plasmids pVCG1.1, pVCG1.2 and pVCG4.1 are comprised of 4,439, 2,357 and 2,163 bp with the overall G+C content of 45.57, 53.54 and 43.09 %, respectively. pVCG1.1 is a novel plasmid, and plasmids pVCG1.2 and pVCG4.1 showed homology of replication initiation proteins to that of the theta type replicons. Attempts to cure the plasmids from their hosts were unsuccessful. These data suggest that plasmids of Vibrio spp. are a significant gene reservoir in the marine ecosystem.
- Mai Po Nature Reserve
- Vibrio cholerae