Homologies between plasmid and chromosomally-encoded benzoate-oxidizing genes in Pseudomonas putida



DNA-DNA hydridization has been used to detect homologies between the TOL plasmid-encoded gene cluster xylXYZL and the chromosomally-located benABCD genes in Pseudomonas putida; both sets of genes code for isofunctional enzymes converting benzoate and toluates into catechol and its derivatives. A DNA probe corresponding to a region downstream of xylL, however, failed to hybridize to Pseudomonas chromosomal DNA. These results support the notion that catabolic operons may evolve by successive recruitment of other genes, in this case via the juxtaposition of the benABCD gene cluster upstream of the xylE gene on TOL plasmids.