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Biotechniques. 2008 Apr;44(5):633-4, 636-41. doi: 10.2144/000112807.

Bacterial genetics: past achievements, present state of the field, and future challenges.

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Rocky Mountain Regional Center for Biodefense and Emerging Infectious Diseases Research, Department of Microbiology, Immunology and Pathology, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO 80523-1690, USA.


Genetic tools are required to take full advantage of the wealth of information generated by genome sequencing efforts and ensuing global gene and protein expression analyses. Bacterial genetics was originally developed and refined in Escherichia coli. As a consequence, elegant plasmid, cloning, expression, and mutagenesis systems were developed over the years and a good number of them are commercially available. This is not true for other bacteria. Although the development of genetic tools has generally not kept up with the sequencing pace, substantial progress has been made in this arena with many bacterial species. This short review highlights selected topics and achievements in the field over the past 25 years and presents some strategies that may help address future challenges. BioTechniques has played an integral part in the publication of important technological advances in the field over the first 25 years of its existence and it can be anticipated that it will continue to do so in the future.

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