A vector for promoter trapping in Bacillus cereus

Gene. 1999 Jan 21;226(2):297-305. doi: 10.1016/s0378-1119(98)00544-7.


We constructed a promoter-trap plasmid, pAD123, for Bacillus cereus. This plasmid contains a promoterless gene that encodes a mutant version of the green fluorescent protein, GFPmut3a, that is optimized for fluorescence-activated cell sorting [Cormack, B.P., Valdivia, R.H., Falkow, S., 1996. FACS-optimized mutants of the green fluorescent protein (GFP). Gene 173, 33-38.]. The plasmid replicates and confers drug resistance in both Escherichia coli and B. cereus. We constructed a library in pAD123, which consists of 29000 clones containing chromosomal DNA from B. cereus strain UW85. A portion of the library (988 clones) was screened for GFP expression in B. cereus UW85 using a 96-well microtiter dish assay. GFP expression was detected by visual inspection with a fluorimager. We identified 21 clones as fluorescing in the initial screen, and further characterized these clones by restriction analysis, sequencing, and quantification of fluorescence intensity. Flow cytometry and cell sorting efficiently separated B. cereus cells expressing GFP from a 10000-fold excess of non-expressing cells. Selected clones provided useful markers to follow B. cereus populations on plant surfaces. Our results indicate that GFP and pAD123 are useful tools for identifying regulatory sequences in Bacillus cereus, and that flow cytometry and cell sorting is a useful method for screening large libraries constructed in this vector.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Bacillus cereus / genetics*
  • Base Sequence
  • Clone Cells
  • DNA Primers
  • Genetic Vectors*
  • Green Fluorescent Proteins
  • Luminescent Proteins / genetics*
  • Microscopy, Confocal
  • Microscopy, Fluorescence
  • Promoter Regions, Genetic*


  • DNA Primers
  • Luminescent Proteins
  • Green Fluorescent Proteins