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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1993 Oct 15;90(20):9295-9.

Transformation of Tetrahymena thermophila by microinjection of a foreign gene.

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Biology Department, University of California, Los Angeles 90024-1606.


Tetrahymena thermophila has been transformed to paromomycin-resistant phenotypes by microinjection of an aminoglycoside 3'-phosphotransferase (neo) gene under the control of the T. thermophila histone H4-I promoter. This chimeric neo gene, by itself or on a vector containing a rRNA-encoding DNA (rDNA) origin of replication, transforms T. thermophila. In cells transformed with the rDNA origin vector, the neo gene is usually found integrated into the endogenous rDNA molecules and is present in high copy number. In transformants obtained by microinjecting only the linear chimeric gene, the neo gene is found to have replaced the histone H4-I gene or is found integrated into the 5' flanking region of the H4-I gene. The relative transcript levels of the neo gene in T. thermophila transformed by the linear chimeric gene are much higher than in cells transformed with the vector. The neo gene provides an effective selectable marker for transformation of T. thermophila.

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