Microbiology


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0 Q&A 470 Views Apr 20, 2024

Clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats/CRISPR-associated protein 9 (CRISPR/Cas9) has become the state of the art for mutagenesis in filamentous fungi. Here, we describe a ribonucleoprotein complex (RNP)-mediated CRISPR/Cas9 for mutagenesis in Sporisorium reilianum. The efficiency of the method was tested in vitro with a cleavage assay as well as in vivo with a GFP-expressing S. reilianum strain. We applied this method to generate frameshift- and knock-out mutants in S. reilianum without a resistance marker by using an auto-replicating plasmid for selection. The RNP-mediated CRISPR/Cas9 increased the mutagenesis efficiency, can be applied for all kinds of mutations, and enables a marker-free genome editing in S. reilianum.

0 Q&A 379 Views Mar 20, 2024

Erwinia persicina is a gram-negative bacterium that causes diseases in plants. Recently, E. persicina BST187 was shown to exhibit broad-spectrum antibacterial activity due to its inhibitory effects on bacterial acetyl-CoA carboxylase, demonstrating promising potential as a biological control agent. However, the lack of suitable genetic manipulation techniques limits its exploitation and industrial application. Here, we developed an efficient transformation system for E. persicina. Using pET28a as the starting vector, the expression cassette of the red fluorescent protein–encoding gene with the strong promoter J23119 was constructed and transformed into BST187 competent cells to verify the overexpression system. Moreover, suicide plasmid–mediated genome editing systems was developed, and lacZ was knocked out of BST187 genome by parental conjugation transfer using the recombinant suicide vector pKNOCK-sacB-km-lacZ. Therefore, both the transformation and suicide plasmid–mediated genome editing system will greatly facilitate genetic manipulations in E. persicina and promote its development and application.


Key features

• Our studies establish a genetic manipulation system for Erwinia persicina, providing a versatile tool for studying the gene function of non-model microorganisms.

• Requires approximately 6–10 days to complete modification of a chromosome locus.


Graphical overview


0 Q&A 514 Views Nov 5, 2023

Cellular sensitivity is an approach to inhibit the growth of certain cells in response to any non-permissible conditions, as the presence of a cytotoxic agent or due to changes in growth parameters such as temperature, salt, or media components. Sensitivity tests are easy and informative assays to get insight into essential gene functions in various cellular processes. For example, cells having any functionally defective genes involved in DNA replication exhibit sensitivity to non-permissive temperatures and to chemical agents that block DNA replication fork movement. Here, we describe a sensitivity test for multiple strains of Saccharomyces cerevisiae and Candida albicans of diverged genetic backgrounds subjected to several genotoxic chemicals simultaneously. We demonstrate it by testing the sensitivity of DNA polymerase defective yeast mutants by using spot analysis combined with colony forming unit (CFU) efficiency estimation. The method is very simple and inexpensive, does not require any sophisticated equipment, can be completed in 2–3 days, and provides both qualitative and quantitative data. We also recommend the use of this reliable methodology for assaying the sensitivity of these and other fungal species to antifungal drugs and xenobiotic factors.

0 Q&A 549 Views Aug 5, 2023

High yield of good quality plasmid DNA from gram -ve bacteria (Agrobacterium tumefaciens, A. rhizogenes, and Rhizobium sp.) and gram +ve bacterium (Bacillus thuringiensis) is difficult. The widely used plasmid extraction kits for Escherichia coli yield a low quantity of poor-quality plasmid DNA from these species. We have optimized an in-house modification of the QIAprep Spin Miniprep kit protocol of Qiagen, consisting of two extraction steps. In the first, the centrifugation after adding neutralization buffer is followed by ethanol (absolute) precipitation of plasmid DNA. In the second extraction step, the precipitated DNA is dissolved in Tris-EDTA (TE) buffer, followed by an addition of 0.5 volumes of 5 M sodium chloride and 0.1 volumes of 20% (w/v) sodium dodecyl sulfate. After incubation at 65 °C for 15 min, the plasmid DNA is extracted with an equal volume of chloroform:isoamyl alcohol (CIA). RNase (20 mg/mL) is added to the upper phase retrieved after centrifugation and is incubated at 37 °C for 15 min. The extraction of the plasmid DNA with an equal volume of CIA is followed by centrifugation and is precipitated from the retrieved upper phase by adding an equal volume of absolute ethanol. The pellet obtained after centrifugation is washed twice with 70% (v/v) ethanol, air dried, dissolved in TE buffer, and quantified. This easy-to-perform protocol is free from phenol extraction, density gradient steps, and DNA binding columns, and yields high-quality plasmid DNA. The protocol opens an easy scale up to yield a large amount of high-quality plasmid DNA, useful for high-throughput downstream applications.


Key features

• The protocol is free from density gradient steps and use of phenol.

• The protocol is an extension of the QIAprep Spin Miniprep kit (Qiagen) and is applicable for plasmid DNA isolation from difficult-to-extract bacterial species.

• The protocol facilitates the direct transformation of the ligation product into Agrobacterium by skipping the step of E. coli transformation.

• The plasmids isolated are of sequencing grade and the method is useful for extracting plasmids for metagenomic studies.


Graphical overview



Overview of the plasmid isolation protocol (modified QIAprep Spin Miniprep kit) of the present study

0 Q&A 777 Views Jun 5, 2023

Gene deletion is one of the standard approaches in genetics to investigate the roles and functions of target genes. However, the influence of gene deletion on cellular phenotypes is usually analyzed sometime after the gene deletion was introduced. Such lags from gene deletion to phenotype evaluation could select only the fittest fraction of gene-deleted cells and hinder the detection of potentially diverse phenotypic consequences. Therefore, dynamic aspects of gene deletion, such as real-time propagation and compensation of deletion effects on cellular phenotypes, still need to be explored. To resolve this issue, we have recently introduced a new method that combines a photoactivatable Cre recombination system and microfluidic single-cell observation. This method enables us to induce gene deletion at desired timings in single bacterial cells and to monitor their dynamics for prolonged periods. Here, we detail the protocol for estimating the fractions of gene-deleted cells based on a batch-culture assay. The duration of blue light exposure significantly affects the fractions of gene-deleted cells. Therefore, gene-deleted and non-deleted cells can coexist in a cellular population by adjusting the duration of blue light exposure. Single-cell observations under such illumination conditions allow the comparison of temporal dynamics between gene-deleted and non-deleted cells and unravel phenotypic dynamics provoked by gene deletion.

0 Q&A 736 Views Apr 20, 2023

Genetic strategies such as gene disruption and fluorescent protein tagging largely contribute to understanding the molecular mechanisms of biological functions in bacteria. However, the methods for gene replacement remain underdeveloped for the filamentous bacteria Leptothrix cholodnii SP-6. Their cell chains are encased in sheath composed of entangled nanofibrils, which may prevent the conjugation for gene transfer. Here, we describe a protocol optimized for gene disruption through gene transfer mediated by conjugation with Escherichia coli S17-1 with details on cell ratio, sheath removal, and loci validation. The obtained deletion mutants for specific genes can be used to clarify the biological functions of the proteins encoded by the target genes.


Graphical overview


1 Q&A 999 Views Apr 20, 2023

In this study, a sonication-based DNA extraction method was developed, in which the whole process can be finished within 10 min. This method is almost zero cost and time-saving, which is useful for high throughput screening, especially in the screening of mutants generated in random mutagenesis. This method is effective in genomic DNA extraction for PCR amplification in several Gram-positive bacteria, including Bacillus cereus, Bacillus thuringiensis, Bacillus subtilis, and Listeria monocytogenes.

0 Q&A 581 Views Mar 5, 2023

Malaria molecular surveillance has great potential to support national malaria control programs (NMCPs), informing policy for its control and elimination. Here, we present a new three-day workflow for targeted resequencing of markers in 13 resistance-associated genes, histidine rich protein 2 and 3 (hrp2&3), a country (Peru)-specific 28 SNP-barcode for population genetic analysis, and apical membrane antigen 1 (ama1), using Illumina short-read sequencing technology. The assay applies a multiplex PCR approach to amplify all genomic regions of interest in a rapid and easily standardizable procedure and allows simultaneous amplification of a high number of targets at once, therefore having great potential for implementation into routine surveillance practice by NMCPs. The assay can be performed on routinely collected filter paper blood spots and can be easily adapted to different regions to investigate either regional trends or in-country epidemiological changes.

0 Q&A 800 Views Sep 5, 2022

Geobacillus kaustophilus, a thermophilic Gram-positive bacterium, is an attractive host for the development of high-temperature bioprocesses. However, its reluctance against genetic manipulation by standard methodologies hampers its exploitation. Here, we describe a simple methodology in which an artificial DNA segment on the chromosome of Bacillus subtilis can be transferred via pLS20-mediated conjugation resulting in subsequent integration in the genome of G. kaustophilus. Therefore, we have developed a transformation strategy to design an artificial DNA segment on the chromosome of B. subtilis and introduce it into G. kaustophilus. The artificial DNA segment can be freely designed by taking advantage of the plasticity of the B. subtilis genome and combined with the simplicity of pLS20 conjugation transfer. This transformation strategy would adapt to various Gram-positive bacteria other than G. kaustophilus.


Graphical abstract:




0 Q&A 1457 Views Jun 5, 2022

Understanding the generation of mutations is fundamental to understanding evolution and genetic disease; however, the rarity of such events makes experimentally identifying them difficult. Mutation accumulation (MA) methods have been widely used. MA lines require serial bottlenecks to fix de novo mutations, followed by whole-genome sequencing. While powerful, this method is not suitable for exploring mutation variation among different genotypes due to its poor scalability with cost and labor. Alternatively, fluctuation assays estimate mutation rate in microorganisms by utilizing a reporter gene, in which Loss-of-function (LOF) mutations can be selected for using drugs toxic to cells containing the WT allele. Traditional fluctuation assays can estimate mutation rates but not their base change compositions. Here, we describe a new protocol that adapts traditional fluctuation assay using CAN1 reporter gene in Saccharomyces cerevisiae, followed by pooled sequencing methods, to identify both the rate and spectra of mutations in different strain backgrounds.




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