Sulfolobus islandicus serves as a model for studying archaeal biology as well as linking novel biology to evolutionary ecology using functional population genomics. In the present study, we developed a new counterselectable genetic marker in S. islandicus to expand the genetic toolbox for this species. We show that resistance to the purine analog 6-methylpurine (6-MP) in S. islandicus M.16.4 is due to the inactivation of a putative adenine phosphoribosyltransferase encoded by M164_0158 (apt). The application of the apt gene as a novel counterselectable marker was first illustrated by constructing an unmarked α-amylase deletion mutant. Furthermore, the 6-MP counterselection feature was employed in a forward (loss-of-function) mutation assay to reveal the profile of spontaneous mutations in S. islandicus M.16.4 at the apt locus. Moreover, the general conservation of apt genes in the crenarchaea suggests that the same strategy can be broadly applied to other crenarchaeal model organisms. These results demonstrate that the apt locus represents a new tool for genetic manipulation and sequence analysis of the hyperthermophilic crenarchaeon S. islandicus.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Food Science
- Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology