Construction and characterization of stable, constitutively expressed, chromosomal green and red fluorescent transcriptional fusions in the select agents, Bacillus anthracis, Yersinia pestis, Burkholderia mallei, and Burkholderia pseudomallei
Version of Record online: 9 JUL 2014
© 2014 The Authors. MicrobiologyOpen published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Volume 3, Issue 5, pages 610–629, October 2014
How to Cite
MicrobiologyOpen 2014; 3(5): 610–629
- Issue online: 9 OCT 2014
- Version of Record online: 9 JUL 2014
- Manuscript Accepted: 29 MAY 2014
- Manuscript Revised: 23 MAY 2014
- Manuscript Received: 18 MAR 2014
- United States Defense Threats Reduction Agency INSIGHTS Program
- fluorescent tagging;
- select agents;
- Bacillus anthracis.;
- Yersinia pestis ;
- Burkholderia mallei ;
- Burkholderia pseudomallei
Here, we constructed stable, chromosomal, constitutively expressed, green and red fluorescent protein (GFP and RFP) as reporters in the select agents, Bacillus anthracis, Yersinia pestis, Burkholderia mallei, and Burkholderia pseudomallei. Using bioinformatic approaches and other experimental analyses, we identified P0253 and P1 as potent promoters that drive the optimal expression of fluorescent reporters in single copy in B. anthracis and Burkholderia spp. as well as their surrogate strains, respectively. In comparison, Y. pestis and its surrogate strain need two chromosomal copies of cysZK promoter (P2cysZK) for optimal fluorescence. The P0253-, P2cysZK-, and P1-driven GFP and RFP fusions were first cloned into the vectors pRP1028, pUC18R6KT-mini-Tn7T-Km, pmini-Tn7-gat, or their derivatives. The resultant constructs were delivered into the respective surrogates and subsequently into the select agent strains. The chromosomal GFP- and RFP-tagged strains exhibited bright fluorescence at an exposure time of less than 200 msec and displayed the same virulence traits as their wild-type parental strains. The utility of the tagged strains was proven by the macrophage infection assays and lactate dehydrogenase release analysis. Such strains will be extremely useful in high-throughput screens for novel compounds that could either kill these organisms, or interfere with critical virulence processes in these important bioweapon agents and during infection of alveolar macrophages.