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J Biotechnol. 2002 Oct 9;99(1):79-91.

The alanine racemase gene alr is an alternative to antibiotic resistance genes in cloning systems for industrial Corynebacterium glutamicum strains.

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Degussa AG, Kantstrasse 2, D-33788 Halle-Künsebeck, Germany.


The potential of the alanine racemase gene alr from Corynebacterium glutamicum ATCC 13032 to substitute for antibiotic resistance determinants in cloning systems has been investigated. The alr gene was identified by a PCR technique and its nucleotide sequence was determined. The deduced protein revealed the highest amino acid sequence similarity to the Alr protein from Mycobacterium smegmatis with 45% identical and 58% similar amino acids. A defined alr deletion mutant of C. glutamicum displayed a strict dependence on the presence of D-alanine for growth on complex and minimal medium. The alr gene was placed on a novel C. glutamicum vector which is completely free of antibiotic resistance genes. In vivo complementation of the chromosomal alr deletion with alr-carrying vectors permitted growth of the mutant strain in the absence of external D-alanine and provided strong selective pressure to maintain the plasmid. The alr gene enabled the selection of C. glutamicum transformants with a similar efficiency as the tetracycline resistance gene tetA(33). These data provided experimental evidence that the alr gene can be applied as an alternative selection marker to antibiotic resistance genes in industrial C. glutamicum strains. In an application example, the novel deltaalr host-alr(+) vector-system for C. glutamicum was used to overproduce the vitamin D-pantothenic acid.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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