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J Gen Microbiol. 1989 May;135(5):1315-24.

Protoplast transformation of Bacillus stearothermophilus NUB36 by plasmid DNA.

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  • 1Department of Biochemistry, Molecular Biology, and Cell Biology, Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois 60208.


An efficient protoplast transformation system was established for Bacillus stearothermophilus NUB3621 using thermophilic plasmid pTHT15 Tcr (4.5 kb) and mesophilic plasmid pLW05 Cmr (3 kb), a spontaneous deletion derivative of pPL401 Cmr Kmr. The efficiency of transformation of NUB3621 with pLW05 and pTHT15 was 2 x 10(7) to 4 x 10(8) transformants per micrograms DNA. The transformation frequency (transformants per regenerant) was 0.5 to 1.0. Chloramphenicol-resistant and tetracycline-resistant transformants were obtained when competent cells of Bacillus subtilis were transformed with pLW05 [2.5 x 10(5) transformants (microgram DNA)-1] and pTHT15 [1.8 x 10(5) transformants (micrograms DNA)-1], respectively. Thus, these plasmids are shuttle vectors for mesophilic and thermophilic bacilli. Plasmid pLW05 Cmr was not stably maintained in cultures growing at temperatures between 50 and 65 degrees C but the thermostable chloramphenicol acetyltransferase was active in vivo at temperatures up to 70 degrees C. In contrast, thermophilic plasmid pTHT15 Tcr was stable in cultures growing at temperatures up to 60 degrees C but the tetracycline resistance protein was relatively thermolabile at higher temperatures. The estimated copy number of pLW05 in cells of NUB3621 growing at 50, 60, and 65 degrees C was 69, 18, and 1 per chromosome equivalent, respectively. The estimated copy number of pTHT15 in cells of NUB3621 growing at 50 or 60 degrees C was about 41 to 45 per chromosome equivalent and 12 in cells growing at 65 degrees C.

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