An efficient blue-white screening system for markerless deletions and stable integrations in Streptomyces chromosomes based on the blue pigment indigoidine biosynthetic gene bpsA

Appl Microbiol Biotechnol. 2018 Dec;102(23):10231-10244. doi: 10.1007/s00253-018-9393-7. Epub 2018 Sep 26.


We previously developed an efficient deletion system for streptomycetes based on the positive selection of double-crossover events using bpsA, a gene for producing the blue pigment indigoidine. Using this system, we removed interfering secondary metabolite clusters from Streptomyces lividans TK24, resulting in RedStrep strains with dramatically increased heterologous production of mithramycin A (up to 3-g/l culture). This system, however, required a time-consuming step to remove the resistance marker genes. In order to simplify markerless deletions, we prepared a new system based on the plasmid pAMR18A. This plasmid contains a large polylinker with many unique restriction sites flanked by apramycin and kanamycin resistance genes and the bpsA gene for selecting a double-crossover event. The utility of this new markerless deletion system was demonstrated by its deletion of a 21-kb actinorhodin gene cluster from Streptomyces lividans TK24 with 30% efficiency. We used this system to efficiently remove the matA and matB genes in selected RedStrep strains, resulting in biotechnologically improved strains with a highly dispersed growth phenotype involving non-pelleting small and open mycelia. No further increase in mithramycin A production was observed in these new RedStrep strains, however. We also used this system for the markerless insertion of a heterologous mCherry gene, an improved variant of the monomeric red fluorescent protein, under the control of the strong secretory signal sequence of the subtilisin inhibitor protein, into the chromosome of S. lividans TK24. The resulting recombinant strains efficiently secreted mCherry into the growth medium in a yield of 30 mg/l.

Keywords: Actinorhodin; Antibiotics; Gene disruption; Indigoidine; Protein secretion; Red fluorescent protein; Reporter gene; Streptomyces.

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Anthraquinones / metabolism
  • Bacterial Proteins / genetics*
  • Bacterial Proteins / metabolism
  • Chromosomes, Bacterial / genetics
  • Chromosomes, Bacterial / metabolism
  • DNA, Bacterial / genetics
  • Gene Deletion*
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Bacterial
  • Genes, Bacterial*
  • Genetic Markers
  • Industrial Microbiology
  • Multigene Family
  • Piperidones / metabolism*
  • Plasmids / genetics
  • Plasmids / metabolism
  • Plicamycin / analogs & derivatives
  • Plicamycin / biosynthesis
  • Streptomyces / genetics*
  • Streptomyces / metabolism
  • Streptomyces lividans / genetics
  • Streptomyces lividans / metabolism


  • Anthraquinones
  • Bacterial Proteins
  • DNA, Bacterial
  • Genetic Markers
  • Piperidones
  • indigoidine
  • mithramycin A
  • actinorhodin
  • Plicamycin