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Zentralbl Bakteriol. 1998 Jan;287(1-2):85-92.

Generalized transduction for genetic linkage analysis and transfer of transposon insertions in different Staphylococcus epidermidis strains.

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  • 1Institut für Medizinische Mikrobiologie und Immunologie, Universitätskrankenhaus Eppendorf, Hamburg, Germany.


Staphylococcus epidermidis phage 48 was used to efficiently transduce plasmid pTV1ts and a chromosomal Tn917 insertion M27 from S. epidermidis 13-1 to biofilm-producing clinical S. epidermidis isolates 1457, 9142, and 8400. The Tn917 insertion leading to the biofilm-negative phenotype of transposon mutant M10 was sequentially transduced to biofilm-producing S. epidermidis 1457 using S. epidermidis phage 48 and then, using the resulting biofilm-negative transductant 1457-M10 as a donor, into several unrelated biofilm-producing clinical S. epidermidis isolates using S. epidermidis phage 71. All resultant transductants displayed a completely biofilm-negative phenotype. In addition, S. epidermidis phage 71 was adapted to S. epidermidis 1457 and 8400, which allowed generalized transduction of transposon insertions in these wild-type strains. As Tn917 predominantly transposed into endogenous plasmids of all three strains used, an efficient system for chromosomal transposon mutagenesis was established by curing of S. epidermidis 1457 of a single endogenous plasmid p1457 by sodium dodecylsulfate treatment. After transduction of the resulting derivative, S. epidermidis 1457c with pTV1ts, insertion of transposon Tn917 to different sites of the chromosome of S. epidermidis 1457c was observed. Biofilm-producing S. epidermidis 1457c x pTV1ts was used to isolate a biofilm-negative transposon mutant (1457c-M3) with a chromosomal insertion apparently different from two previously isolated isogenic biofilm-negative transposon mutants, M10 and M11 (Mack, D., M. Nedelmann, A. Krokotsch, A. Schwarzkopf, J. Heesemann, and R. Laufs: Infect Immun 62 [1994] 3244-3253). S. epidermidis phage 71 was used to prove genetic linkage between transposon insertion and altered phenotype by generalized transduction. In combination with phage transduction, 1457c x pTV1ts will be a useful tool facilitating the study of bacterial determinants of the pathogenicity of S. epidermidis.

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