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J Bacteriol. 1993 Apr;175(7):2077-82.

Transposon mutagenesis by Tn4560 and applications with avermectin-producing Streptomyces avermitilis.

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  • 1School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Kitasato University, Tokyo, Japan.


The Tn3-like Streptomyces transposon Tn4560 was used to mutagenize Streptomyces avermitilis, the producer of anthelmintic avermectins and the cell growth inhibitor oligomycin. Tn4560 transposed in this strain from a temperature-sensitive plasmid to the chromosome and from the chromosome to a plasmid with an apparent frequency of about 10(-4) to 10(-3) at both 30 and 39 degrees C. Auxotrophic and antibiotic nonproducing mutations were, however, obtained only with cultures that were kept at 37 or 39 degrees C. About 0.1% of the transposon inserts obtained at 39 degrees C caused auxotrophy or abolished antibiotic production. The sites of insertion into the S. avermitilis chromosome were mapped. Chromosomal DNA fragments containing Tn4560 insertions in antibiotic production genes were cloned onto a Streptomyces plasmid with temperature-sensitive replication and used to transport transposon mutations to other strains, using homologous recombination. This technique was used to construct an avermectin production strain that no longer makes the toxic oligomycin.

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