• ColE2 family;
  • 2-hydroxypyridine;
  • monooxygenase


A cryptic plasmid from Arthrobacter rhombi PRH1, designated as pPRH, was sequenced and characterized. It was 5000 bp in length with a G+C content of 66 mol%. The plasmid pPRH was predicted to encode six putative open reading frames (ORFs), in which ORF2 and ORF3 formed the minimal replicon of plasmid pPRH and shared 55–61% and 60–69% homology, respectively, with the RepA and RepB proteins of reported rhodococcal plasmids. Sequence analysis revealed a typical ColE2-type ori located 45 bp upstream of the gene repA. Sequence and phylogenetic analysis led to the conclusion that pPRH is a representative of a novel group of pAL5000 subfamily of ColE2 family plasmids. Three shuttle vectors pRMU824, pRMU824Km and pRMU824Tc, encoding chloramphenicol resistance, were constructed. The latter two harboured additional antibiotic resistance genes kan and tet, respectively. All vectors successfully replicated in Escherichia coli, Arthrobacter and Rhodococcus spp. The vector pRMU824Km was employed for functional screening of 2-hydroxypyridine catabolism encoding genes from Arthrobacter sp. PY22. Sequence analysis of the cloned 6-kb DNA fragment revealed eight putative ORFs, among which hpyB gene encoded a putative monooxygenase.