• Pseudomonas aeruginosa;
  • genomic islands;
  • Rhs element


Key to Pseudomonas aeruginosa's ability to thrive in a diversity of niches is the presence of numerous genomic islands that confer adaptive traits upon individual strains. We reasoned that P. aeruginosa strains capable of surviving in the harsh environments of multiple hosts would therefore represent rich sources of genomic islands. To this end, we identified a strain, PSE9, that was virulent in both animals and plants. Subtractive hybridization was used to compare the genome of PSE9 with the less virulent strain PAO1. Nine genomic islands were identified in PSE9 that were absent in PAO1; seven of these had not been described previously. One of these seven islands, designated P. aeruginosa genomic island (PAGI)-5, has already been shown to carry numerous interesting ORFs, including several required for virulence in mammals. Here we describe the remaining six genomic islands, PAGI-6, -7, -8, -9, -10, and -11, which include a prophage element and two Rhs elements.