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J Bacteriol. 1990 Jun;172(6):3138-45.

Use of a conditionally lethal gene in Anabaena sp. strain PCC 7120 to select for double recombinants and to entrap insertion sequences.

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  • 1MSU-DOE Plant Research Laboratory, Michigan State University, East Lansing 48824-1312.


Use of the sacB gene (J. L. Ried and A. Collmer, Gene 57:239-246, 1987) provides a simple, effective, positive selection for double recombinants in Anabaena sp. strain PCC 7120, a filamentous cyanobacterium. This gene, which encodes the secretory levansucrase of Bacillus subtilis, was inserted into the vector portion of a suicide plasmid bearing a mutant version of a chromosomal gene. Cells of colonies in which such a plasmid had integrated into the Anabaena chromosome through single recombination were plated on solid medium containing 5% sucrose. Under this condition, the presence of the sacB gene is lethal. A small fraction of the cells from initially sucrose-sensitive colonies became sucrose resistant; the majority of these sucrose-resistant derivatives had undergone a second recombinational event in which the sacB-containing vector had been lost and the wild-type form of the chromosomal gene had been replaced by the mutant form. By the use of this technique, we mutated two selected genes in the chromosome of Anabaena sp. strain PCC 7120. The conditionally lethal nature of the sacB gene was also used to detect insertion sequences from this Anabaena strain. Sucrose-resistant colonies derived from cells bearing a sacB-containing autonomously replicating plasmid were analyzed. Five different, presumed insertion sequences were found to have inserted into the sacB gene of the plasmids in these colonies. One of them, denoted IS892, was characterized by physical mapping. It is 1.7 kilobases in size and is present in at least five copies in the genome of Anabaena sp. strain PCC 7120.

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