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Mol Gen Genet. 1989 Jul;218(1):177-81.

Efficient transformation of Bacillus thuringiensis and B. cereus via electroporation: transformation of acrystalliferous strains with a cloned delta-endotoxin gene.

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Biotechnology Department, Ciba-Geigy Ltd., Basel, Switzerland.


Electroporation was used as a method to transform intact cells of Bacillus thuringiensis and B. cereus. With our optimized method a range of plasmid vectors could be transformed into strains of B. thuringiensis at frequencies of up to 10(7) transformants/micrograms DNA. This high frequency allows cloning experiments to be done directly in B. thuringiensis. A bifunctional vector capable of replicating in Escherichia coli and in Bacillus spp. was constructed. The kurhd1 protoxin gene was cloned into this shuttle vector to produce plasmid pX193, then transformed into B. thuringiensis HD1 cryB and B. cereus 569K. The cloned protoxin gene was expressed in sporulating cultures of both strain HD1 cryB (pX193) and 569K (pXI93), producing crystal protein active in biotests against larvae of Heliothis virescens. This demonstrates the usefulness of the electroporation method for the introduction of cloned toxin genes, in either their native or modified form, into a variety of host strains.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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