Construction of a food-grade multiple-copy integration system for Lactococcus lactis

K. Leenhouts, A. Bolhuis, G. Venema, J. Kok

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A food-grade vector system was developed that allows stable integration of multiple plasmid copies in the chromosome of Lactococcus lactis. The vector consists of the plus origin of replication (Ori+) of the lactococcal plasmid pWV01, the sucrose genes of the lactic acid bacterium Pediococcus pentosaceus PPE1.0 as selectable marker, a multiple-cloning site, and a lactococcal DNA fragment of a well-characterized chromosomal region. The system includes two L. lactis strains, LL108 and LL302, which produce the pWV01 RepA protein essential for replication of the Ori+ vectors. These helper strains allow the construction and isolation of the replicating form of the integration plasmids from a homologous background. Single-crossover integration of the plasmids in L. lactis MG1363 resulted in amplifications to a level of approximately 20 copies/chromosome after selection of the transformants on medium containing sucrose as the only fermentable sugar. The amplifications were stable under selective growth conditions. In glucose-containing medium a limited loss of integrated plasmid copies was detected at a rate of (7.5-15)x 10-2 copies per generation. One strain, MG124, was isolated that had retained 11 integrated copies after a period of 120 generations of non-selective growth. These results show that the single-cross-over integration system described here represents a simple procedure for the engineering of stable food-grade strains carrying multiple copies of a gene of interest.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)417-423
Number of pages7
JournalApplied Microbiology and Biotechnology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 14 May 1998

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology


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