A Pseudomonas putida oprL null mutant was generated with reverse genetics by using an in vitro-truncated oprL::xylE construct and in vivo allelic exchange. The nature of the mutation introduced in P. putida was confirmed by Southern blotting. Western blots (immunoblots) of peptidoglycan-associated proteins revealed that the OprL protein was not made in the mutant strain, whereas it was detectable as a 19-kDa band in protein preparations of the wild-type strain. The P. putida oprL, mutant exhibited altered cell morphology as revealed by electron microscopy and was more sensitive to sodium dodecyl sulfate, deoxycholate, and EDTA than the wild-type strain. The oprL gene was conserved in a wide variety of the Pseudomonas strains belonging to rRNA group I, which suggests that this gene is important for the maintenance of the cell envelope and cell morphology in this group of microorganisms
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