Peer-reviewed articles

Generation of targeted deletions in the genome of Rhodothermus marinus

Authors: Bjornsdottir, SH, Fridjonsson, OH, Hreggvidsson, GO, Eggertsson, G.

Version: Applied and Environmental Microbiology

Publication year: 2011


The aim of this work was to develop an approach for chromosomal engineering of the thermophile Rhodothermus marinus. A selection strategy for R. marinus had previously been developed; this strategy was based on complementing a restriction-negative trpB strain with the R. marinustrpB gene. The current work identified an additional selective marker, purA, which encodes adenylosuccinate synthase and confers adenine prototrophy. In a two-step procedure, the available Trp+ selection was used during the deletion of purA from the R. marinus chromosomes. The alternative Ade+ selection was in turn used while deleting the endogenous trpB gene. Since both deletions are unmarked, the purA and trpB markers may be reused. Through the double deletant SB-62 (ΔtrpB ΔpurA), the difficulties that are associated with spontaneous revertants and unintended chromosomal integration of marker-containing molecules are circumvented. The selection efficiency in R. marinus strain SB-62 (ΔtrpB ΔpurA) was demonstrated by targeting putative carotenoid biosynthesis genes, crtBI, using a linear molecule containing a marked deletion with 717 and 810 bp of 5 ′ and 3 ′ homologous sequences, respectively. The resulting Trp+ transformants were colorless rather than orange-red. The correct replacement of an internal crtBI fragment with the trpB marker was confirmed by Southern hybridization analysis of the transformants. Thus, it appears that target genes in the R. marinus chromosome can be readily replaced with linear molecules in a single step by double-crossover recombination.

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