This method of counter-selection has been found to be useful for

This method of counter-selection has been found to be useful for several other environmental bacteria [11, 12, 18]. Plasmids pSSK10,

Dactolisib pEX100T, and pJQ200 have been successfully used to obtain A. baumannii mutants by this method [11–13]. However, most bacteria subjected to homologous recombination, even under negative selection for the sacB gene, are wild-type and it is not possible to isolate the selleck chemicals desired mutant directly [19–21]. Another disadvantage of this method is that integration of the DNA may not always provide the desired replacement, since foreign DNA with low or no sequence homology would rely on illegitimate recombination events, as previously reported for Acinetobacter and other species [14, 16]. In addition, all of these gene replacement methodologies are time-consuming, and require several steps involving subcloning into a suicide delivery

vector followed by electroporation into E. coli and subsequent transfer into A. baumannii by electroporation or conjugation. To avoid such situations, we propose a method based on the electroporation of A. baumannii electrocompetent cells with linear DNA, a PCR product including an antibiotic resistance cassette flanked by regions homologous to the target locus. However, as expected, we noted an important disadvantage of the replacement method (which requires two recombination events), with respect to the gene disruption method (which only requires Ceramide glucosyltransferase one recombination event), i.e. the low efficiency with regard to obtaining mutants (10-7 vs. 10-5). In addition, we observed more illegitimate recombination events with the new method than with the gene disruption technique, since several colonies acquired the resistance antibiotic cassette (confirmed by PCR), although the wild-type target gene was not replaced (Figures 1, 2, and 4). Nevertheless, the new method is a useful genetic tool for systematic generation of knockouts. Moreover, to our knowledge, there are no previous reports of double knockout mutant strains of A. baumannii. However, we demonstrate that the combination

of both gene disruption and gene replacement techniques is an easy and useful procedure for obtaining double gene-knockout mutants in A. baumannii. Taking into account the results presented here, it intuitively appears that the gene replacement method would be successful with any strain of A. baumannii, including clinical strains, with the only limitation being the use of an appropriate antibiotic resistance marker. Although the kanamycin resistance cassette cannot be used in clinical strains (all the clinical strains of A. baumannii taken from our collection were kanamycin resistant: data not shown), use of another antibiotic resistance marker such as rifampicin (for which a low level of resistance has been demonstrated in approximately 50% of multidrug-resistant A.

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