Dam and Dcm Methylations Prevent Gene Transfer into Clostridium pasteurianum NRRL B-598: Development of Methods for Electrotransformation, Conjugation, and Sonoporation

Butanol is currently one of the most discussed biofuels. Its use provides many benefits in comparison to bio-ethanol, but the price of its fermentative production is still high. Genetic improvements could help solve many problems associated with butanol production during ABE fermentation, such as its toxicity, low concentration achievable in the cultivation medium, the need for a relatively expensive substrate, and many more. Clostridium pasteurianum NRRL B-598 is non-type strain producing butanol, acetone, and a negligible amount of ethanol. Its main benefits are high oxygen tolerance, utilization of a wide range of carbon and nitrogen sources, and the availability of its whole genome sequence. However, there is no established method for the transfer of foreign DNA into this strain; this is the next step necessary for progress in its use for butanol production.

We have described functional protocols for conjugation and transformation of the bio-butanol producer C. pasteurianum NRRL B-598 by foreign plasmid DNA. We show that the use of unmethylated plasmid DNA is necessary for efficient transformation or successful conjugation. Genes encoding DNA methylation and those for restriction-modification systems and antibiotic resistance were searched for in the whole genome sequence and their homologies with other clostridial bacteria were determined. Furthermore, activity of described novel type I restriction system was proved experimentally. The described electrotransformation protocol achieved an efficiency 1.2 × 102 cfu/μg DNA after step-by-step optimization and an efficiency of 1.6 × 102 cfu/μg DNA was achieved by the sonoporation technique using a standard laboratory ultrasound bath. The highest transformation efficiency was achieved using a combination of these approaches; sono/electroporation led to an increase in transformation efficiency, to 5.3 × 102 cfu/μg DNA.

Both Dam and Dcm methylations are detrimental for transformation of C. pasteurianum NRRL B-598. Methods for conjugation, electroporation, sonoporation, and a combined method for sono/electroporation were established for this strain. The methods described could be used for genetic improvement of this strain, which is suitable for bio-butanol production.

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Funkční genomika & systémová biologie

Karel Sedlář

Ivo ProvazníkIvo Provazník

Jan Kolek

Petra Patakova

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