A simple system has been developed for generating Corynebacterium glutamicum strains containing stable replicative plasmids integrated into the chromosome via homologous recombination. The system is based upon extremely strong incompatibility between two plasmids, which cannot be comaintained even under antibiotic selective pressure. Integration of the resident plasmid that contained the trpD gene of C. glutamicum was achieved by introduction of a second plasmid and subsequent selection for the maintenance of both plasmids. Plasmid integrates positive for both plasmid markers were obtained at a frequency about 10 of the normal transformation frequency with selection for the maintenance of only the second plasmid. Southern analysis revealed that the integration had occurred through a single-crossover homologous recombination between the trpD regions of the host genome and the plasmid. On the basis of the Campbell-type integration, chromosome walking was attempted by using Escherichia coli replication origins that were also present in the integrated plasmid. The chromosomal DNA was digested, ligated, and used to transform E. coli, which enabled recovery of the expected adjacent genomic DNA regions. The plasmid integrate was stably maintained for 30 generations under non-selective culture conditions, suggesting that the integrated sequences carrying a replicon active in the host were maintained as a stable chromosomal insert in C. glutamicum.


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