Bacillus integrative plasmid system combining a synthetic gene circuit for efficient genetic modifications of undomesticated Bacillus strains

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Bacillus integrative plasmid system combining a synthetic gene circuit for efficient genetic modifications of undomesticated Bacillus strains
Man Su Kim; Da-Eun JeongSoo-Keun Choi
Bibliographic Citation
Microbial Cell Factories, vol. 21, pp. 259-259
Publication Year
Background: Owing to CRISPR-Cas9 and derivative technologies, genetic studies on microorganisms have dramatically increased. However, the CRISPR-Cas9 system is still difficult to utilize in many wild-type Bacillus strains owing to Cas9 toxicity. Moreover, less toxic systems, such as cytosine base editors, generate unwanted off-target mutations that can interfere with the genetic studies of wild-type strains. Therefore, a convenient alternative system is required for genetic studies and genome engineering of wild-type Bacillus strains. Because wild-type Bacillus strains have poor transformation efficiencies, the new system should be based on broad-host-range plasmid-delivery systems. Results: Here, we developed a Bacillus integrative plasmid system in which plasmids without the replication initiator protein gene (rep) of Bacillus are replicated in a donor Bacillus strain by Rep proteins provided in trans but not in Bacillus recipients. The plasmids were transferred to recipients through a modified integrative and conjugative element, which is a wide host range plasmid-delivery system. Genetic mutations were generated in recipients through homologous recombination between the transferred plasmid and the genome. The system was improved by adding a synthetic gene circuit for efficient screening of the desired mutations by double crossover recombination in recipient strains. The improved system exhibited a mutation efficiency of the target gene of approximately 100% in the tested wild-type Bacillus strains. Conclusion: The Bacillus integrative plasmid system developed in this study can generate target mutations with high efficiency when combined with a synthetic gene circuit in wild-type Bacillus strains. The system is free of toxicity and unwanted off-target mutations as it generates the desired mutations by traditional double crossover recombination. Therefore, our system could be a powerful tool for genetic studies and genome editing of Cas9-sensitive wild-type Bacillus strains.
Bacillus integrative plasmidSynthetic gene circuitUndomesticated BacillusGenetic modificationIntegrative and conjugative element
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Division of Research on National Challenges > Infectious Disease Research Center > 1. Journal Articles
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