Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Health Sciences Division, Loyola University Chicago, 2160 S. First Avenue Building 105 Room 3936, Maywood, IL 60153, USA
The marine bacterium Vibrio fischeri serves as a model organism for a variety of natural phenomena, including symbiotic host colonization. The ease with which the V. fischeri genome can be manipulated contributes greatly to our ability to identify the factors involved in these phenomena. Here, we have adapted genetic tools for use in V. fischeri to promote our ability to conditionally control the expression of genes of interest. Specifically, we modified the commonly used mini-Tn5 transposon to contain an outward-facing, LacI-repressible/IPTG-inducible promoter, and inserted the lacI gene into the V. fischeri chromosome. Used together, these tools permit the identification and induction of genes that control specific phenotypes. To validate this approach, we identified IPTG-controllable motility mutants. We anticipate that the ability to randomly insert an inducible promoter into the genome of V. fischeri will advance our understanding of various aspects of the physiology of this microbe.
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