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Viola, Stefania; Ruehle, Thilo; Leister, Dario (2014): A single vector-based strategy for marker-less gene replacement in Synechocystis sp PCC 6803. In: Microbial Cell Factories 13:4


Background: The cyanobacterium Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803 is widely used for research on photosynthesis and circadian rhythms, and also finds application in sustainable biotechnologies. Synechocystis is naturally transformable and undergoes homologous recombination, which enables the development of a variety of tools for genetic and genomic manipulations. To generate multiple gene deletions and/or replacements, marker-less manipulation methods based on counter-selection are generally employed. Currently available methods require two transformation steps with different DNA plasmids. Results: In this study, we present a marker-less gene deletion and replacement strategy in Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803 which needs only a single transformation step. The method utilizes an nptI-sacB double selection cassette and exploits the ability of the cyanobacterium to undergo two successive genomic recombination events via double and single crossing-over upon application of appropriate selective procedures. Conclusions: By reducing the number of cloning steps, this strategy will facilitate gene manipulation, gain-of-function studies, and automated screening of mutants.