Burkholderia spp. are genetically and physiologically diverse. Some strains are naturally transformable and capable of DNA catabolism. Burkholderia pseudomallei (Bp) strains 1026b and K96243 and B. thailandensis strain E264 are able to utilize DNA as a sole carbon source for growth, while only strains 1026b and E264 are naturally transformable. In this study, we constructed low-copy broad-host-range fosmid library, containing Bp strain 1026b chromosomal DNA fragments, and employed a novel positive selection approach to identify genes responsible for DNA uptake and DNA catabolism. The library was transferred to non-competent Bp K96243 and B. cenocepacia (Bc) K56-2, harboring chromosomally-inserted FRT-flanked sacB and pheS counter-selection markers. The library was incubated with DNA encoding Flp recombinase, followed by counter-selection on sucrose and chlorinated phenylalanine, to select for clones that took up flp-DNA, transiently expressed Flp, and excised the sacB-pheS cassette. Putative clones that survived the counter-selection were subsequently incubated with gfp-DNA and bacteria were visualized via fluorescent microscopy to confirm natural competency. Fosmid sequencing identified several 1026b genes implicated in DNA uptake, which were validated using chromosomal mutants. One of the naturally competent clones selected in Bc K56-2 enabled Bc, Bp and B. mallei to utilize DNA as a sole carbon source, and all fosmids were used to successfully create mutations in non-naturally-competent B. mallei and Bp strains.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)