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Transposon and Deletion Mutagenesis of Genes Involved in Perchlorate Reduction in Azospira suillum PS

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mBio

American Society of Microbiology

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      ABSTRACT

      Although much work on the biochemistry of the key enzymes of bacterial perchlorate reduction, chlorite dismutase, and perchlorate reductase has been published, understanding of the molecular mechanisms of this metabolism has been somewhat hampered by the lack of a clear model system amenable to genetic manipulation. Using transposon mutagenesis and clean deletions, genes important for perchlorate reduction in Azospira suillum PS have been identified both inside and outside the previously described perchlorate reduction genomic island (PRI). Transposon mutagenesis identified 18 insertions in 11 genes that completely abrogate growth via reduction of perchlorate but have no phenotype during denitrification. Of the mutants deficient in perchlorate reduction, 14 had insertions that were mapped to eight different genes within the PRI, highlighting its importance in this metabolism. To further explore the role of these genes, we also developed systems for constructing unmarked deletions and for complementing these deletions. Using these tools, every core gene in the PRI was systematically deleted; 8 of the 17 genes conserved in the PRI are essential for perchlorate respiration, including 3 genes that comprise a unique histidine kinase system. Interestingly, the other 9 genes in the PRI are not essential for perchlorate reduction and may thus have unknown functions during this metabolism. We present a model detailing our current understanding of perchlorate reduction that incorporates new concepts about this metabolism.

      IMPORTANCE

      Although perchlorate is generated naturally in the environment, groundwater contamination is largely a result of industrial activity. Bacteria capable of respiring perchlorate and remediating contaminated water have been isolated, but relatively little is known about the biochemistry and genetics of this process. Here we used two complementary approaches to identify genes involved in perchlorate reduction. Most of these genes are located on a genomic island, which is potentially capable of moving between organisms. Some of the genes identified are known to be directly involved in the metabolism of perchlorate, but other new genes likely regulate the metabolism in response to environmental signals. This work has uncovered new questions about the regulation, energetics, and evolution of perchlorate reduction but also presents the tools to address them.

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      Most cited references 53

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      Basic local alignment search tool.

      A new approach to rapid sequence comparison, basic local alignment search tool (BLAST), directly approximates alignments that optimize a measure of local similarity, the maximal segment pair (MSP) score. Recent mathematical results on the stochastic properties of MSP scores allow an analysis of the performance of this method as well as the statistical significance of alignments it generates. The basic algorithm is simple and robust; it can be implemented in a number of ways and applied in a variety of contexts including straightforward DNA and protein sequence database searches, motif searches, gene identification searches, and in the analysis of multiple regions of similarity in long DNA sequences. In addition to its flexibility and tractability to mathematical analysis, BLAST is an order of magnitude faster than existing sequence comparison tools of comparable sensitivity.
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        Primer-BLAST: A tool to design target-specific primers for polymerase chain reaction

        Background Choosing appropriate primers is probably the single most important factor affecting the polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Specific amplification of the intended target requires that primers do not have matches to other targets in certain orientations and within certain distances that allow undesired amplification. The process of designing specific primers typically involves two stages. First, the primers flanking regions of interest are generated either manually or using software tools; then they are searched against an appropriate nucleotide sequence database using tools such as BLAST to examine the potential targets. However, the latter is not an easy process as one needs to examine many details between primers and targets, such as the number and the positions of matched bases, the primer orientations and distance between forward and reverse primers. The complexity of such analysis usually makes this a time-consuming and very difficult task for users, especially when the primers have a large number of hits. Furthermore, although the BLAST program has been widely used for primer target detection, it is in fact not an ideal tool for this purpose as BLAST is a local alignment algorithm and does not necessarily return complete match information over the entire primer range. Results We present a new software tool called Primer-BLAST to alleviate the difficulty in designing target-specific primers. This tool combines BLAST with a global alignment algorithm to ensure a full primer-target alignment and is sensitive enough to detect targets that have a significant number of mismatches to primers. Primer-BLAST allows users to design new target-specific primers in one step as well as to check the specificity of pre-existing primers. Primer-BLAST also supports placing primers based on exon/intron locations and excluding single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) sites in primers. Conclusions We describe a robust and fully implemented general purpose primer design tool that designs target-specific PCR primers. Primer-BLAST offers flexible options to adjust the specificity threshold and other primer properties. This tool is publicly available at http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/tools/primer-blast.
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          Four new derivatives of the broad-host-range cloning vector pBBR1MCS, carrying different antibiotic-resistance cassettes.

          Four new antibiotic-resistant derivatives of the broad-host-range (bhr) cloning vector pBBR1MCS have been constructed. These new plasmids have several advantages over many of the currently available bhr vectors in that: (i) they are relatively small (< 5.3 kb), (ii) they possess an extended multiple cloning site (MCS), (iii) they allow direct selection of recombinant plasmid molecules in Escherichia coli via disruption of the LacZ alpha peptide, (iv) they are mobilizable when the RK2 transfer functions are provided in trans and (v) they are compatible with IncP, IncQ and IncW group plasmids, as well as with ColE1- and P15a-based replicons.
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            Author and article information

            Affiliations
            Department of Plant and Microbial Biology, University of California, Berkeley, Berkeley, California, USA
            Author notes
            Address correspondence to John D. Coates, jdcoates@ 123456berkeley.edu .

            Invited Editor Kenneth Nealson, University of Southern California Editor Douglas Capone, University of Southern California

            Journal
            mBio
            MBio
            mbio
            mbio
            mBio
            mBio
            American Society of Microbiology (1752 N St., N.W., Washington, DC )
            2150-7511
            31 December 2013
            Jan-Feb 2014
            : 5
            : 1
            24381299
            3884062
            mBio00769-13
            10.1128/mBio.00769-13
            Copyright © 2013 Melnyk et al.

            This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported license, which permits unrestricted noncommercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

            Counts
            Pages: 12
            Categories
            Research Article
            Custom metadata
            January/February 2014

            Life sciences

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