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Appl Environ Microbiol. Mar 1989; 55(3): 604–610.
PMCID: PMC184167

Genetic transformation of intact Lactococcus lactis subsp. lactis by high-voltage electroporation.


To apply recombinant DNA techniques for genetic manipulation of the industrially important lactococci, an efficient and reliable high-frequency transformation system must be available. High-voltage electric pulses have been demonstrated to enhance uptake of DNA into protoplasts and intact cells of numerous gram-negative and gram-positive microorganisms. The objective of this study was to develop a system for electroporating intact cells of Lactococcus lactis subsp. lactis LM0230 (previously designated Streptococcus lactis LM0230) with a commercially available electroporation unit (BTX Transfector 100; BTX, Inc., San Diego, Calif.). Parameters which influenced the efficiency of transformation included growth phase and final concentration of cells, ionic strength of the suspending medium, concentration of plasmid DNA, and the amplitude and duration of the pulse. Washed suspensions of intact cells suspended in deionized distilled water were subjected to one high-voltage electric pulse varying in voltage (300 to 900 V corresponding to field strengths of 5 to 17 kV/cm) and duration (100 microseconds to 1 s). Transformation efficiencies of 10(3) transformants per microgram of DNA were obtained when dense suspensions (final concentration, 5 x 10(10) CFU/ml) of stationary-phase cells were subjected to one pulse with a peak voltage of 900 V (field strength, 17 kV/cm) and a pulse duration of 5 ms in the presence of plasmid DNA. Dilution of porated cells in broth medium followed by an expression period of 2 h at 30 degrees C was beneficial in enhancing transformation efficiencies. Plasmids ranging in size from 9.8 to 30.0 kilobase pairs could be transformed by this procedure.

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Selected References

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