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Mol Microbiol. 1997 Feb;23(4):791-7.

Construction and analysis of a recombination-deficient (radA) mutant of Haloferax volcanii.

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Department of Microbiology, University of Melbourne, Parkville, Australia.


By deleting the radA open reading frame of an extreme halophile, Haloferax volcanii, we created and characterized a recombination-deficient archaeon. This strain, Hf. volcanii DS52, has no detectable DNA recombination, is more sensitive to DNA damage by UV light and ethylmethane sulfonate, and has a slower growth rate than the wild type. These characteristics are similar to those observed in recombination mutants of Eukarya and Bacteria, and show that the radA gene belongs in the recA/RAD51 family by function as well as sequence homology. In addition, strain DS52 was not transformable by plasmids pWL102 or pUBP2 (which contain pHV2 and pHH1 replicons, respectively), although it was readily transformed by plasmids containing a pHK2 replicon, indicating a role for radA in the maintenance or replication of some halobacterial plasmids. Despite its slower growth rate, Hf. volcanii DS52 was still easy to culture and transform, and should be suitable for use in studies where a recombination-deficient background is desired.

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