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PLoS One 2015 Dec 1;10(12):e0142758

Improvements to a markerless allelic exchange system for Bacillus anthracis.

Plaut RD, Stibitz S


A system was previously developed for conducting I-SceI-mediated allelic exchange in Bacillus anthracis. In this system, recombinational loss of a chromosomally-integrated allelic exchange vector is stimulated by creation of a double-stranded break within the vector by the homing endonuclease I-SceI. Although this system is reasonably efficient and represents an improvement in the tools available for allelic exchange in B. anthracis, researchers are nonetheless required to "pick and patch" colonies in order to identify candidate "exchangeants." In the present study, a number of improvements have been made to this system: 1) an improved I-SceI-producing plasmid includes oriT so that both plasmids can now be introduced by conjugation, thus avoiding the need for preparing electro-competent cells of each integration intermediate; 2) antibiotic markers have been changed to allow the use of the system in select agent strains; and 3) both plasmids have been marked with fluorescent proteins, allowing the visualization of plasmid segregation on a plate and obviating the need for "picking and patching." These modifications have made the process easier, faster, and more efficient, allowing for parallel construction of larger numbers of mutant strains. Using this improved system, the genes encoding the tripartite anthrax toxin were deleted singly and in combination from plasmid pXO1 of Sterne strain 34F2. In the course of this study, we determined that DNA transfer to B. anthracis could be accomplished by conjugation directly from a methylation-competent E. coli strain.from a methylation-competent E. coli strain.

Category: Journal Article
PubMed ID: #26624016 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0142758
PubMed Central ID: #PMC4666636
Includes FDA Authors from Scientific Area(s): Biologics
Entry Created: 2016-02-19