Complementation Plasmids, Inducible Gene-Expression Systems, and Reporters for Staphylococci

Methods Mol Biol. 2016;1373:25-32. doi: 10.1007/7651_2014_181.


A cornucopia of methods and molecular tools is available for genetic modification of staphylococci, as shown for at least ten different species to date (Prax et al. Microbiology 159:421-435, 2013). This chapter reviews a number of frequently used vectors for complementation purposes that usually replicate in E. coli and staphylococci and differ in parameters including copy number, mode of replication, and sequence length. Systems for the artificial control of gene expression are described that are modulated by low-molecular-weight effectors such as metal cations, carbohydrates, and antibiotics. Finally, the usefulness of reporter proteins that exhibit enzymatic or autofluorescent characteristics in staphylococci is highlighted.

Keywords: Complementation; Inducible gene regulation; Plasmids; Reporter genes; Staphylococci; Staphylococcus aureus.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / pharmacology
  • Carbohydrates / chemistry
  • Cations / chemistry
  • DNA, Bacterial / genetics
  • Escherichia coli / genetics
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Bacterial / drug effects
  • Genetic Vectors*
  • Humans
  • Molecular Biology / methods*
  • Staphylococcal Infections / genetics*
  • Staphylococcal Infections / microbiology
  • Staphylococcus aureus / genetics*
  • Staphylococcus aureus / pathogenicity


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Carbohydrates
  • Cations
  • DNA, Bacterial