Integrative elements for Bacillus subtilis yielding tetracycline-dependent growth phenotypes

Nucleic Acids Res. 2005 Oct 12;33(18):e153. doi: 10.1093/nar/gni154.


We describe the construction and application of elements for random insertion of promoter containing DNA into the genome of Bacillus subtilis. The outward-facing promoter of these integrative elements termed InsTet(G+) is inducible by tetracycline so that conditional mutants are generated. We constructed three InsTet(G+) variants using different regulatory windows. In the first, the regulator gene tetR is located within the element, allowing one-step mutagenesis. The second contains tetR in the chromosome and yields the best regulation efficiency. The third exploits xylose-dependent tetR expression from a plasmid, enabling induction of TetR synthesis so that distinct expression levels of an affected gene can be adjusted. We have obtained mutant strains with all three variants. For some of them, growth can be modulated by the presence of effectors. Most growth defects occur in the presence of inducers, presumably due to regulated expression of antisense RNA.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Bacillus subtilis / drug effects
  • Bacillus subtilis / genetics*
  • Bacillus subtilis / growth & development
  • Gene Expression Regulation*
  • Genes, Regulator
  • Mutagenesis, Insertional / methods*
  • Mutation
  • Phenotype
  • Promoter Regions, Genetic*
  • Tetracycline / pharmacology*


  • Tetracycline