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Infect Immun. 1991 Nov;59(11):4097-102.

Insertion of Tn916 in Neisseria meningitidis resulting in loss of group B capsular polysaccharide.

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Department of Medicine, Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, Georgia 30303.


We recently found that the 16.4-kb conjugative transposon Tn916 could be introduced into Neisseria meningitidis by transformation and that it appeared to transpose to many different sites in the chromosome of recipient meningococci. In order to identify transposon-induced alterations of specific meningococcal virulence determinants, a library of meningococcal Tetr transformants containing Tn916 was made and screened for those altered in the production of group B capsular polysaccharide. A capsule-defective mutant, M7, was identified by using monoclonal and polyclonal antisera to group B polysaccharide in immunoblot and agar antiserum procedures. Growth of M7 was similar to that of the parent strain. M7 produced no group B capsular polysaccharide by rocket immunoelectrophoresis, and the mutation was stable during laboratory passage. The capsule-defective phenotype was linked to Tetr, as demonstrated by immunoblot and Southern blot analysis of progeny Tetr transformants (transformants of the parent strain obtained with DNA from M7). A capsule-deficient mutant, O8, was identified by using a similar approach. Analysis of the Tn916 insertions in M7 and O8 indicated that a significant portion of the transposon on either side of the tetM determinant had been lost. The ability of Tn916 to generate defined, stable mutations in meningococcal virulence determinants is demonstrated by our study.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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