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J Bacteriol. 2001 Apr;183(7):2384-8.

In vitro transposition system for efficient generation of random mutants of Campylobacter jejuni.

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  • 1Section of Microbial Pathogenesis, Boyer Center for Molecular Medicine, Yale School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut 06536-0812, USA.


Campylobacter jejuni is the most common cause of food-borne illnesses in the United States. Despite the fact that the entire nucleotide sequence of its genome has recently become available, its mechanisms of pathogenicity are poorly understood. This is in part due to the lack of an efficient mutagenesis system. Here we describe an in vitro transposon mutagenesis system based on the Staphylococcus aureus transposable element Tn552 that allows the efficient generation of insertion mutants of C. jejuni. Insertions occur randomly and throughout the entire bacterial genome. We have tested this system in the isolation of nonmotile mutants of C. jejuni. Demonstrating the utility of the system, six nonmotile mutants from a total of nine exhibited insertions in genes known to be associated with motility. An additional mutant had an inactivating insertion in sigma 54, implicating this transcription factor in flagellum regulation. The availability of this efficient system will greatly facilitate the study of the mechanisms of pathogenesis of this important pathogen.

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