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Plasmid. 1997;38(3):180-7.

Development of a Rhodococcus equi-Escherichia coli plasmid shuttle vector.

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Department of Pathobiology, University of Guelph, Ontario, Canada.


Isolates of Rhodococcus equi from pneumonic foals possess an 85- or 90-kb virulence-associated plasmid. A prominent, thermoregulated surface antigen, VapA, encoded by these plasmids is thought to be important in virulence. A 135-kb fragment containing the origin of replication of R. equi strain 103 virulence-associated plasmid (pOTS) was identified, sequenced, and its location identified. A simple R. equi-Escherichia coli shuttle plasmid (pRE-1) derived from the E. coli plasmid pACYC177 and the pOTS ori was developed. The plasmid transformed readily and was stable in either host and expressed kanamycin resistance but not beta-lactamase in R. equi. An improved 5.9-kb vector, pRE-7, was developed from pRE-1 and pBluescript. Subcloning of vapA into the multiple cloning site of the beta-galactosidase gene of pRE-7 resulted in weak expression of the gene both in E. coli and R. equi. The shuttle vector may be useful in examining regulation of virulence gene expression in R. equi.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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