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BMC Biotechnol. 2009 Nov 20;9:95. doi: 10.1186/1472-6750-9-95.

Quantifying and resolving multiple vector transformants in S. cerevisiae plasmid libraries.

Author information

  • 1Thayer School of Engineering, Dartmouth College, Hanover, USA. Thomas.C.Scanlon@Dartmouth.edu

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

In addition to providing the molecular machinery for transcription and translation, recombinant microbial expression hosts maintain the critical genotype-phenotype link that is essential for high throughput screening and recovery of proteins encoded by plasmid libraries. It is known that Escherichia coli cells can be simultaneously transformed with multiple unique plasmids and thusly complicate recombinant library screening experiments. As a result of their potential to yield misleading results, bacterial multiple vector transformants have been thoroughly characterized in previous model studies. In contrast to bacterial systems, there is little quantitative information available regarding multiple vector transformants in yeast. Saccharomyces cerevisiae is the most widely used eukaryotic platform for cell surface display, combinatorial protein engineering, and other recombinant library screens. In order to characterize the extent and nature of multiple vector transformants in this important host, plasmid-born gene libraries constructed by yeast homologous recombination were analyzed by DNA sequencing.

RESULTS:

It was found that up to 90% of clones in yeast homologous recombination libraries may be multiple vector transformants, that on average these clones bear four or more unique mutant genes, and that these multiple vector cells persist as a significant proportion of library populations for greater than 24 hours during liquid outgrowth. Both vector concentration and vector to insert ratio influenced the library proportion of multiple vector transformants, but their population frequency was independent of transformation efficiency. Interestingly, the average number of plasmids born by multiple vector transformants did not vary with their library population proportion.

CONCLUSION:

These results highlight the potential for multiple vector transformants to dominate yeast libraries constructed by homologous recombination. The previously unrecognized prevalence and persistence of multiply transformed yeast cells have important implications for yeast library screens. The quantitative information described herein should increase awareness of this issue, and the rapid sequencing approach developed for these studies should be widely useful for identifying multiple vector transformants and avoiding complications associated with cells that have acquired more than one unique plasmid.

PMID:
19930565
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC2784458
Free PMC Article

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