Genome rearrangements and megaplasmid loss in the filamentous bacterium Kitasatospora viridifaciens are associated with protoplast formation and regeneration.Antonie Van Leeuwenhoek. 2020 Jun; 113(6):825-837.AV
Filamentous Actinobacteria are multicellular bacteria with linear replicons. Kitasatospora viridifaciens DSM 40239 contains a linear 7.8 Mb chromosome and an autonomously replicating plasmid KVP1 of 1.7 Mb. Here we show that lysozyme-induced protoplast formation of the multinucleated mycelium of K. viridifaciens drives morphological diversity. Characterisation and sequencing of an individual revertant colony that had lost the ability to differentiate revealed that the strain had not only lost most of KVP1 but also carried deletions in the right arm of the chromosome. Strikingly, the deletion sites were preceded by insertion sequence elements, suggesting that the rearrangements may have been caused by replicative transposition and homologous recombination between both replicons. These data indicate that protoplast formation is a stressful process that can lead to profound genetic changes.