Integrons: mobilizable platforms that promote genetic diversity in bacteria

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Trends in Microbiology, 2007, 15 (7), pp. 301 - 309
Issue Date:
Full metadata record
Files in This Item:
Filename Description Size
Thumbnail2008003901OK.pdf1.75 MB
Adobe PDF
Integrons facilitate the capture of potentially adaptive exogenous genetic material by their host genomes. It is now clear that integrons are not limited to the clinical contexts in which they were originally discovered because ∼10% of bacterial genomes that have been partially or completely sequenced harbour this genetic element. This wealth of sequence information has revealed that integrons are not only much more phylogenetically diverse than previously thought but also more mobilizable, with many integrons having been subjected to frequent lateral gene transfer throughout their evolutionary history. This indicates that the genetic characteristics that make integrons such efficient vectors for the spread of antibiotic resistance genes have been associated with these elements since their earliest origins. Here, we give an overview of the structural and phylogenetic diversity of integrons and describe evolutionary events that have contributed to the success of these genetic elements. © 2007 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: