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Plasmid. 2005 Nov;54(3):219-28. Epub 2005 May 31.

An expression vector containing a rhamnose-inducible promoter provides tightly regulated gene expression in Burkholderia cenocepacia.

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Department of Microbiology and Immunology, The University of Western Ont., Canada.


Infection of the respiratory tract caused by Burkholderia cepacia complex poses a serious risk for cystic fibrosis (CF) patients due to the high morbidity and mortality associated with the chronic infection and the lack of efficacious antimicrobial treatments. A detailed understanding of the pathogenicity of B. cepacia complex infections is hampered in part by the limited availability of genetic tools and the inherent resistance of these isolates to the most common antibiotics used for genetic selection. In this study, we report the construction of an expression vector which uses the rhamnose-regulated P(rhaB) promoter of Escherichia coli. The functionality of the vector was assessed by expressing the enhanced green fluorescent protein (eGFP) gene (e-gfp) and determining the levels of fluorescence emission. These experiments demonstrated that P(rhaB) is responsive to low concentrations of rhamnose and it can be effectively repressed with 0.2% glucose. We also demonstrate that the tight regulation of gene expression by P(rhaB) promoter allows us to extend the capabilities of this vector to the identification of essential genes.

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