An efficient system for markerless gene replacement applicable in a wide variety of enterobacterial species
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We describe an improved allelic-exchange method for generating unmarked mutations and chromosomal DNA alterations in enterobacterial species. Initially developed for use in Salmonella enterica, we have refined the method in terms of time, simplicity, and efficiency. We have extended its use into related bacterial species that are more recalcitrant to genetic manipulations, including enterohemorrhagic and enteropathogenic Escherichia coli and Vibrio parahaemolyticus. Data from over 50 experiments are presented including gene inactivations, site-directed mutagenesis, and promoter exchanges. In each case, desired mutations were identified by polymerase chain reaction screening typically from as few as 10-20 colonies up to a maximum of 300 colonies. The method does not require antibiotic nor nutritional markers in target genes and works efficiently in wild-type strains, obviating the need for specialized hosts or genetic systems. The use is simple, requiring basic laboratory materials, and represents an alternative to existing methods for gene manipulation in the Enterobacteriaceae.
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