A class II transposon, Tn1722, encodes a site-specific resolution system, in which the resolvase (TnpR) efficiently catalyzes intramolecular recombination between the two directly oriented copies of the resolution site (res), leading to precise excision of the intervening DNA region. This property was exploited to develop the general strategies to introduce the large and defined deletion mutations into the bacterial chromosome. The Tn1722 res site was inserted into the plasmid carrying a cloned chromosomal fragment, and the resulting plasmid was integrated into a Tn1722-containing target chromosome by single crossover-mediated homologous recombination. The plasmid integrant carrying the two copies of the res site in the same orientation could efficiently excise the chromosomal region locating between the two res sites by means of the site-specific resolution system. Such site-specific deletion could be also detected by appropriate integration of the res-tnpR-containing plasmid into the chromosome in which another copy of the res site had been inserted through allelic exchange. This latter strategy was further modified to isolate the deletion mutations that were free of the resistance markers used for introduction of the res site and the res-tnpR block into the target chromosome. The deletion systems were applied to analyze the 103-kb pvd region of Pseudomonas aeruginosa PAO carrying most of the pyoverdin biosynthetic genes. Successful isolation of the mutation lacking more than a 100-kb fragment in the pvd region indicated that this region did not carry any essential genes.
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