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Open Access Publications from the University of California

An Integrated System for Precise Genome Modification in Escherichia coli.

  • Author(s): Tas, Huseyin
  • Nguyen, Cac T
  • Patel, Ravish
  • Kim, Neil H
  • Kuhlman, Thomas E
  • et al.

We describe an optimized system for the easy, effective, and precise modification of the Escherichia coli genome. Genome changes are introduced first through the integration of a 1.3 kbp Landing Pad consisting of a gene conferring resistance to tetracycline (tetA) or the ability to metabolize the sugar galactose (galK). The Landing Pad is then excised as a result of double-strand breaks by the homing endonuclease I-SceI, and replaced with DNA fragments bearing the desired change via λ-Red mediated homologous recombination. Repair of the double strand breaks and counterselection against the Landing Pad (using NiCl2 for tetA or 2-deoxy-galactose for galK) allows the isolation of modified bacteria without the use of additional antibiotic selection. We demonstrate the power of this method to make a variety of genome modifications: the exact integration, without any extraneous sequence, of the lac operon (~6.5 kbp) to any desired location in the genome and without the integration of antibiotic markers; the scarless deletion of ribosomal rrn operons (~6 kbp) through either intrachromosomal or oligonucleotide recombination; and the in situ fusion of native genes to fluorescent reporter genes without additional perturbation.

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