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FEMS Microbiol Lett. 2003 Jan 21;218(1):31-8.

Identification and disruption of btlA, a locus involved in bile tolerance and general stress resistance in Listeria monocytogenes.

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Department of Microbiology and National Food Biotechnology Centre, University College Cork, Cork, Ireland.


A transposon Tn917 mutant of Listeria monocytogenes L028 was isolated on the basis of reduced growth on agar adjusted to pH 5.5. The disrupted gene, designated btlA (bile tolerance locus), encodes a putative secondary transporter of the major facilitator superfamily, which has significant homology to yxiO in Bacillus subtilis (lmo1417 in L. monocytogenes EGDe). The mutant demonstrated decreased growth rates relative to the wild-type when grown in sub-lethal levels of various stressors (acid, salt, ethanol, bile, SDS, ampicillin and phosphomycin). The mutant was also more sensitive to lethal levels of bile. A pORI19 insertion mutant demonstrated similar phenotypes. Murine virulence studies indicated that disruption of btlA does not influence virulence potential. BtlA therefore represents a membrane protein essential for the maintenance of homeostasis under stress conditions, but is not involved in pathogenicity.

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