Conditionally replicative and conjugative plasmids carrying lacZ alpha for cloning, mutagenesis, and allele replacement in bacteria

Plasmid. 1996 Jan;35(1):1-13. doi: 10.1006/plas.1996.0001.


We describe several new cloning vectors for mutagenesis and allele replacement experiments. These plasmids have the R6K gamma DNA replication origin (oriR(R6K gamma) so they replicate only in bacteria supplying the pi replication protein (encoded by pir), and they can be maintained at low or high plasmid copy number by using Escherichia coli strains encoding either wild-type or mutant forms of pi. They also carry the RP4 transfer origin (oriT(RP4)) so they can be transferred by conjugation to a broad range of bacteria. Most of them encode lacZ alpha for blue-white color screening of colonies for ones with plasmids carrying inserts, as well as the f1 DNA replication origin for preparation of single-stranded DNA. Particular plasmids are especially useful for allele replacement experiments because they also encode a positive counterselectable marker. One set carries tetAR (from Tn10) that allows for positive selection of plasmid-free segregants as tetracycline-sensitive (TetS) recombinants. Another set carries sacB (from Bacillus subtilis) that allows selecting plasmid-free segregants as sucrose-resistant (SucR) ones. Accordingly, derivatives of these plasmids can be introduced into a non-pir host (via conjugative transfer, transformation, or electroporation), and integrants with the plasmid recombined into the chromosome via homologous sequences are selected using a plasmid antibiotic resistance marker. Plasmid-free segregants with an allele replacement can be subsequently selected as TetS or SucR recombinants. A number of additional features (including the presence of multiple cloning sites flanked by T3 and T7 RNA polymerase promoters) make these plasmids useful as general cloning vectors as well.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Alleles
  • Bacillus subtilis / genetics*
  • Base Sequence
  • Cloning, Molecular
  • Conjugation, Genetic
  • DNA Replication
  • DNA, Bacterial / genetics
  • Escherichia coli / genetics*
  • Genetic Vectors / genetics*
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Mutagenesis
  • beta-Galactosidase / genetics


  • DNA, Bacterial
  • beta-Galactosidase