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Keywords:

  • Mycobacterium ;
  • recombineering;
  • bacteriophage;
  • green fluorescent protein

Abstract

Bacteriophage Recombineering of Electroporated DNA (BRED) has been described for construction of gene deletion and point mutations in mycobacteriophages. Using BRED, we inserted a Phsp60-egfp cassette (1143 bp) into the mycobacteriophage D29 genome to construct a new reporter phage, which was used for detection of mycobacterial cells. The cassette was successfully inserted and recombinant mycobacteriophage purified. DNA sequencing of the cassette did not show any mutations even after several phage generations. Mycobacterium smegmatis mc2155 cells were infected with D29::Phsp60-egfp (MOI of 10) and evaluated for EGFP expression by microscopy. Fluorescence was observed at around 2 h after infection, but dissipated in later times because of cell lysis. We attempted to construct a lysis-defective mutant by deleting the lysA gene, although we were unable to purify the mutant to homogeneity even with complementation. These observations demonstrate the ability of BRED to insert c. 1 kbp-sized DNA segments into mycobacteriophage genomes as a strategy for constructing new diagnostic reporter phages.