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FEMS Microbiol Lett. 1998 Dec 15;169(2):383-9.

Electroporation-mediated transformation of the ovine footrot pathogen Dichelobacter nodosus.

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Department of Microbiology, Monash University, Clayton, Vic., Australia.


Studies on the potential virulence genes of the ovine footrot pathogen Dichelobacter nodosus have been hindered by the lack of a genetic system for this organism. In an attempt to accomplish the transformation of D. nodosus cells, we constructed a plasmid that contained part of a native D. nodosus plasmid and carried a tetracycline resistance gene that was located between the D. nodosus rrnA promoter and terminator. This plasmid was used to transform several D. nodosus strains to tetracycline resistance. Analysis of two independent transformants from each parental strain showed that in nearly all of these derivatives, the plasmid was not replicating independently, but that the tetracycline resistance gene had inserted by homologous recombination into one of the three rrn operons located on the chromosome. In most of the transformants, double reciprocal crossover events had occurred. These results are highly significant for genetic studies in D. nodosus and for footrot pathogenesis studies, since by using reverse genetics it will now be possible to examine the role of putative D. nodosus-encoded virulence genes in the disease process.

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