A stable shuttle vector which replicates in Escherichia coli and Clostridium perfringens was constructed by ligating a 3.6-kilobase (kb) fragment of plasmid pBR322 with C. perfringens plasmid pHB101 (3.1 kb). The marker for this shuttle plasmid originated from the 1.3-kb chloramphenicol resistance gene of plasmid pHR106. The resulting shuttle vector, designated pAK201, is 8 kb in size and codes for resistance to 20 micrograms of chloramphenicol per ml in both E. coli and C. perfringens. Following shuttle vector construction in E. coli, plasmid pAK201 was transformed into E. coli HB101 and C. perfringens ATCC 3624A, using intact cell electroporation. The transformation frequencies were 10(6) and 10(4) transformants per microgram of DNA in E. coli and C. perfringens, respectively. Restriction enzyme analysis of the chimera isolated from transformants of both microorganisms suggested that the plasmids were identical. Reciprocal transformation experiments in E. coli and C. perfringens indicated no difference in transformation frequency. Plasmid pAK201 was stable in C. perfringens following repeated transfer in the absence of chloramphenicol pressure. The restriction map of plasmid pAK201 shows six unique cut sites which should be useful for future genetic analysis and C. perfringens gene library construction
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