Summary: The eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) synthesis gene cluster isolated from a marine bacterium, strain SCRC-2738, was cloned and expressed in the marine cyanobacterium sp. A broad-host-range cosmid vector, pJRD215 (10.2 kb, Sm Km), was used to clone a 38 kb insert, pEPA, containing the EPA synthesis gene cluster, creating plasmid pJRDEPA (approx. 48 kb). This plasmid was transferred to the cyanobacterial host at a frequency of 2.2 x 10. Cyanobacterial transconjugants grown at 29 °C produced 0.12 mg EPA (g dry weight), whereas those grown at 23 °C produced 0.56 mg EPA (g dry weight). The yield was further improved to 0.64 mg (g dry weight) by incubation for 1 d at 17 °C. This is believed to be the first successful cloning and expression of such a large heterologous gene cluster in a marine cyanobacterium.


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