Seven gene deletions in seven days: fast generation of Escherichia coli strains tolerant to acetate and osmotic stress

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Generation of multiple genomic alterations is currently a time consuming process. Here, a method was established that enables highly efficient and simultaneous deletion of multiple genes in Escherichia coli. A temperature sensitive plasmid containing arabinose inducible lambda Red recombineering genes and a rhamnose inducible flippase recombinase was constructed to facilitate fast marker-free deletions. To further speed up the procedure, we integrated the arabinose inducible lambda Red recombineering genes and the rhamnose inducible FLP into the genome of E. coli K-12 MG1655. This system enables growth at 37 °C, thereby facilitating removal of integrated antibiotic cassettes and deletion of additional genes in the same day. Phosphorothioated primers were demonstrated to enable simultaneous deletions during one round of electroporation. Utilizing these methods, we constructed strains in which four to seven genes were deleted in E. coli W and E. coli K-12. The growth rate of an E. coli K-12 quintuple deletion strain was significantly improved in the presence of high concentrations of acetate and NaCl. In conclusion, we have generated a method that enables efficient and simultaneous deletion of multiple genes in several E. coli variants. The method enables deletion of up to seven genes in as little as seven days.
Original languageEnglish
Article number17874
JournalScientific Reports
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - 2015

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