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Appl Microbiol Biotechnol. 1998 Jan;49(1):59-65.

Construction of a recA mutant of Burkholderia (formerly Pseudomonas), cepacia.

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Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater 74078, USA.


A recA mutant was constructed of a soil isolate of Burkholderia cepacia, strain ATCC 17616. Prior to mutagenesis, the recA gene was cloned from this strain by its ability to complement the methyl methanesulfonate sensitivity of an Escherichia coli recA mutant. Sequence analysis of the strain showed high sequence similarity (94% nucleic acid and 99% amino acid identity) with the recA gene previously cloned from a clinical isolate of B. cepacia, strain JN25. The subcloned recA gene from B. cepacia ATCC 17616 restored UV resistance and recombination proficiency to recA mutants of E. coli and Pseudomonas aeruginosa, as well as restoring the ability of D3 prophages to be induced to lytic growth from a RecA- strain of P. aeruginosa. The recA mutant of B. cepacia ATCC 17616 was constructed by lambda-mediated Tn5 mutagenesis of the cloned recA gene in E. coli, followed by replacement of the Tn5-interrupted gene for the wild-type allele in the chromosome of B. cepacia by marker exchange. The RecA- phenotype of the mutant was demonstrated by the loss of UV resistance as compared to the parental strain. Southern hybridization analysis of chromosomal DNA from the mutant indicated the presence of Tn5 in the recA gene, and the location of the Tn5 insertion in the recA allele was identified by nucleotide sequence analysis. A test using the recA mutant to see if acquired resistance to D-serine toxicity in B. cepacia might be a result of RecA-mediated activities proved negative; nevertheless, RecA activity potentially contributes to the overall genomic plasticity of B. cepacia and a recA mutant will be useful in bioengineering of this species.

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