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Nat Methods. 2005 Jun;2(6):443-8.

A Tn7-based broad-range bacterial cloning and expression system.

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  • 1Department of Microbiology, Immunology and Pathology, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado 80523, USA.


For many bacteria, cloning and expression systems are either scarce or nonexistent. We constructed several mini-Tn7 vectors and evaluated their potential as broad-range cloning and expression systems. In bacteria with a single chromosome, including Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Pseudomonas putida and Yersinia pestis, and in the presence of a helper plasmid encoding the site-specific transposition pathway, site- and orientation-specific Tn7 insertions occurred at a single attTn7 site downstream of the glmS gene. Burkholderia thailandensis contains two chromosomes, each containing a glmS gene and an attTn7 site. The Tn7 system allows engineering of diverse genetic traits into bacteria, as demonstrated by complementing a biofilm-growth defect of P. aeruginosa, establishing expression systems in P. aeruginosa and P. putida, and 'GFP-tagging' Y. pestis. This system will thus have widespread biomedical and environmental applications, especially in environments where plasmids and antibiotic selection are not feasible, namely in plant and animal models or biofilms.

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