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Appl Environ Microbiol. 1999 Feb;65(2):752-8.

Use of the integration elements encoded by the temperate lactococcal bacteriophage TP901-1 to obtain chromosomal single-copy transcriptional fusions in Lactococcus lactis.

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  • 1Department of Microbiology, Technical University of Denmark, DK-2800 Lyngby, Denmark.


Previously we showed that only one phage-expressed protein (Orf1), a 425-bp region upstream of the orf1 gene (presumably encoding a promoter), and the attP region are necessary and also sufficient for integration of the bacteriophage TP901-1 genome into the chromosome of Lactococcus lactis subsp. cremoris (B. Christiansen, L. Brondsted, F. K. Vogensen, and K. Hammer, J. Bacteriol. 178:5164-5173, 1996). In this work, a further analysis of the phage-encoded elements involved in integration was performed. Here we demonstrate that even when the orf1 gene is separated from the attP region, the Orf1 protein is able to promote site-specific integration of an attP-carrying plasmid into the attB site on the L. lactis subsp. cremoris chromosome. Furthermore, the first detailed deletion analysis of an attP region of a phage infecting lactic acid bacteria was carried out. We show that a fragment containing 56 bp of the attP region, including the core, is sufficient for the site-specific integration of a nonreplicating plasmid into the chromosome of L. lactis subsp. cremoris when the orf1 gene is donated in trans. The functional 56-bp attP region of TP901-1 is substantially smaller than minimal attP regions identified for other phages. Based on the deletion analysis, several repeats located within the attP region seem to be necessary for site-specific integration of the temperate bacteriophage TP901-1. By use of the integrative elements (attP and orf1) expressed by the temperate lactococcal bacteriophage TP901-1, a system for obtaining stable chromosomal single-copy transcriptional fusions in L. lactis was constructed. Two promoter-reporter integration vectors containing the reporter gene gusA or lacLM, encoding beta-glucuronidase or beta-galactosidase, respectively, were constructed. Immediately upstream of both genes are found translational stop codons in all three reading frames as well as multiple restriction enzyme sites suitable for cloning of the promoter of interest. By transformation of L. lactis subsp. cremoris MG1363 containing the integrase gene on a replicating plasmid, the promoter-reporter integration vectors integrated with a high frequency site specifically into the chromosomal attachment site attB used by bacteriophage TP901-1.

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