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Microbiology. 2006 Feb;152(Pt 2):519-27.

Comparative analysis of antibiotic resistance gene markers in Mycoplasma genitalium: application to studies of the minimal gene complement.

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Institut de Biotecnologia i Biomedicina and Departament de Bioquímica i Biologia Molecular, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, 08193 Bellaterra, Barcelona, Spain.


Mycoplasma genitalium has been proposed as a suitable model for an in-depth understanding of the biology of a free-living organism. This paper reports that the expression of the aminoglycoside resistance gene aac(6')-aph(2''), the only selectable marker hitherto available for M. genitalium genetic studies, correlates with a growth impairment of the resistant strains. In light of this finding, a tetM438 construction based on the tetracycline resistance gene tetM was developed; it can be used efficiently in M. genitalium and confers multiple advantages when compared to aac(6')-aph(2''). The use of tetM438 significantly improves transformation efficiency and generates visible colonies faster. Finally, the improvements in the pMTnTetM438 construction made it possible to obtain insertions in genes which have not been previously considered to be dispensable under laboratory growth conditions.

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