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Rapid and efficient protocol to introduce exogenous DNA in Vibrio harveyi and Pseudoalteromonas sp.

François Delavat, Adeline Bidault, Vianney Pichereau, Christine Paillard
Journal of microbiological methods 2018 v.154 pp. 1-5
Pseudoalteromonas, Vibrio campbellii, Vibrio harveyi, bioluminescence, electroporation, gene expression, genes, phenotypic variation, plasmids
Vibrio campbellii BAA-1116 is renowned for its bioluminescence properties, and genetic tools are available to genetically track this strain. However, many other ecologically important V. harveyi strains exist, for which only few genetic tools are available. In this study, a rapid electroporation protocol was developed to transform replicative plasmids in various environmental V. harveyi and Pseudoalteromonas strains. Moreover, a mini-Tn7 delivery system was modified to site-specifically integrate mini-transposons in the genome of V. harveyi ORM4. As a proof-of-principle, replicative plasmids carrying bioreporters were introduced by electroporation in V. harveyi ORM4 cells, and gene expression was followed at the single cell level. We could demonstrate that a flagellar gene is subjected to bimodal gene expression in V. harveyi ORM4, being highly expressed in 10% of the population in stationary phase. This study extends the possibilities to study environmental Vibrio strains and uncovers the occurrence of phenotypic heterogeneity in flagellar expression in Vibrio.