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Mini-Tn7 vectors for stable expression of diguanylate cyclase PleD* in Gram-negative bacteria

AuthorsRomero-Jiménez, Lorena; Rodríguez-Carbonell, David; Gallegos, María Trinidad ; Sanjuán, Juan; Pérez-Mendoza, Daniel
Signal transduction
Exopolysaccharide production
Bacterial motility
Plasmid stability
Issue Date29-Sep-2015
PublisherBioMed Central
CitationBMC Microbiology 15(1): 190 (2015)
Abstract[Background] The cyclic diguanylate (c-di-GMP) is currently considered an ubiquitous second messenger in bacteria that influences a wide range of cellular processes. One of the methodological approaches to unravel c-di-GMP regulatory networks involves raising the c-di-GMP intracellular levels, e.g. by expressing a diguanylate cyclase (DGC), to provoke phenotypic changes.
[Results] We have constructed mini-Tn7 delivery vectors for the integration and stable expression of the pleD* gene encoding a highly active DGC, which can be used to artificially increase the intracellular levels of c-di-GMP in Gram negative bacteria. The functionality of these new vectors has been validated in several plant-interacting α- and γ-proteobacteria. Similarly to vector plasmid-borne pleD*, the genome-borne mini-Tn7pleD* constructs provide significant increases in intracellular c-di-GMP, provoking expected phenotypic changes such as enhanced polysaccharide production, biofilm formation and reduced motility. However, the mini-Tn7pleD* constructs resulted far more stable in the absence of antibiotics than the plasmid-based pleD* constructs. Furthermore, we have also implemented an inducible system to modulate pleD* expression and intracellular c-di-GMP rises “on demand”.
[Conclusions] mini-Tn7pleD* constructs are very stable and are maintained during bacterial free-living growth as well as during interaction with eukaryotic hosts, in the absence of selective pressure. This high stability ensures experimental homogeneity in time and space with regard to enhancing c-di-GMP intracellular levels in bacteria of interest.
Publisher version (URL)http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12866-015-0521-6
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