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J Bacteriol. 2000 Apr;182(8):2336-40.

Genetic requirements of phage lambda red-mediated gene replacement in Escherichia coli K-12.

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Department of Molecular Genetics & Microbiology, University of Massachusetts Medical School, Worcester, Massachusetts 01655, USA.


Recombination between short linear double-stranded DNA molecules and Escherichia coli chromosomes bearing the red genes of bacteriophage lambda in place of recBCD was tested in strains bearing mutations in genes known to affect recombination in other cellular pathways. The linear DNA was a 4-kb fragment containing the cat gene, with flanking lac sequences, released from an infecting phage chromosome by restriction enzyme cleavage in the cell; formation of Lac(-) chloramphenicol-resistant bacterial progeny was measured. Recombinant formation was found to be reduced in ruvAB and recQ strains. In this genetic background, mutations in recF, recO, and recR had large effects on both cell viability and on recombination. In these cases, deletion of the sulA gene improved viability and strain stability, without improving recombination ability. Expression of a gene(s) from the nin region of phage lambda partially complemented both the viability and recombination defects of the recF, recO, and recR mutants and the recombination defect of ruvC but not of ruvAB or recQ mutants.

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