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Summary

Plasmid carriage requires appropriate expression of the genes on the plasmid or host chromosome through cooperative transcriptional regulation. To clarify the impact of plasmid carriage on the host chromosome, we compared the chromosomal RNA maps of plasmid-free and plasmid-containing host strains using the incompatibility group P-7 archetype plasmid pCAR1, which is involved in carbazole degradation, and three distinct Pseudomonas strains. The possession of pCAR1 altered gene expression related to the iron acquisition systems in each host. Expression of the major siderophore pyoverdine was greater in plasmid-containing P. putida KT2440 and P. aeruginosa PAO1 than in the plasmid-free host strains, in part due to the expression of carbazole-degradative genes on pCAR1. The mexEFoprN operon encoding an efflux pump of the resistance-nodulation-cell division family was specifically upregulated by the carriage of pCAR1 in P. putida KT2440, whereas the expression of orthologous genes in the other species remained unaltered. Induction of the mexEFoprN genes increased the resistance of pCAR1-containing KT2440 to chloramphenicol compared with pCAR1-free KT2440. Our findings indicate that the possession of pCAR1 altered the growth rate of the host via the expression of genes on pCAR1 and the host chromosomes.