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Mol Gen Genet. 1986 Sep;204(3):485-91.

Genetic manipulations in Rhizobium meliloti utilizing two new transposon Tn5 derivatives.


Two derivatives of the prokaryotic transposon Tn5 were constructed in vitro. In Tn5-233, the central area of Tn5, which carries resistance to kanamycin/neomycin, bleomycin and streptomycin, is replaced by a fragment carrying resistance to the aminocyclitol antibiotics gentamycin/kanamycin and streptomycin/spectinomycin. In Tn5-235, the Escherichia coli beta-galactosidase gene is inserted within the streptomycin resistance gene of Tn5, and constitutively expressed from a Tn5 promoter. Both constructs transpose with about the same frequency as Tn5 in Escherichia coli and Rhizobium meliloti. When a Tn5-derivative is introduced into an R. meliloti strain which already contains a different Tn5-derivative, in situ transposon replacement is obtained at high frequency, presumably by a pair of crossovers between the IS50 sequences at the ends of the incoming and resident transposons. In this way we converted a previously isolated recA::Tn5 mutant into the corresponding recA::Tn5-233 strain, which can now be used as a genetic background in the study of complementation of other Tn5-induced mutations. We also replaced the drug markers of several Tn5-induced exo mutants, which we were then able to map relative to each other by transduction with phage phi M12. In a strain carrying Tn5-235 located near Tn5-233, we were able to isolate deletions of the intervening markers, presumably resulting from general recombination between the two transposons, by screening for loss of the Lac+ phenotype. Unlike Tn5 itself, resident Tn5-233 does not appear to suppress transposition of another incoming Tn5-derivative.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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