An efficient transformation protocol for Gluconobacter oxydans and Acetobacter liquefaciens strains was developed by preparation of electrocompetent cells grown on yeast extract-ethanol medium. Plasmid pBBR122 was used as broad-host-range vector to clone the Escherichia coli lacZY genes in G. oxydans and A. liquefaciens. Although both lac genes were functionally expressed in both acetic acid bacteria, only a few transformants were able to grow on lactose. However, this ability strictly depended on the presence of a plasmid expressing both lac genes. Mutations in the plasmids and/or in the chromosome were excluded as the cause of growth ability on lactose
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