The presence and diversity of IncP-1 plasmids in the influent of a Danish wastewater treatment plant was studied by PCR amplification of the trfA gene in community DNA followed by sequencing. Three sets of PCR primers were designed to amplify a 281 bp fragment of trfA from all currently sequenced IncP-1 plasmids. A neighbor-joining tree, based on a multiple alignment of 72 obtained sequences together with homologous sequences of previously published IncP-1 plasmids, revealed that all established subgroups of IncP-1 plasmids, α, β, γ and δ, were present in the wastewater treatment plant influent. Also sequences representing the recently described fifth subgroup, the ε subgroup, were detected in the wastewater. Thus, these results confirm the presence of at least five phylogenetically distinct subgroups of IncP-1 plasmids and represent the first time that sequences associated with plasmids of all of these five subgroups have been detected in a single setting. Additionally, the results confirm that wastewater constitutes a reservoir for the conjugative IncP-1 plasmids, which often harbor multiple antibiotic resistance genes. © 2009 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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