Research Article

A replicating plasmid-based vector for GFP expression in Mycoplasma hyopneumoniae

Published: April 28, 2016
Genet. Mol. Res. 15(2): gmr7832 DOI: 10.4238/gmr.15027832

Abstract

Mycoplasma hyopneumoniae (M. hyopneumoniae) causes porcine enzootic pneumonia (PEP) that significantly affects the pig industry worldwide. Despite the availability of the whole genome sequence, studies on the pathogenesis of this organism have been limited due to the lack of a genetic manipulation system. Therefore, the aim of the current study was to generate a general GFP reporter vector based on a replicating plasmid. Here, we describe the feasibility of GFP reporter expression in M. hyopneumoniae (strain 168L) controlled by the p97 gene promoter of this mycoplasma. An expression plasmid (pMD18-TOgfp) containing the p97 gene promoter, and origin of replication (oriC) of M. hyopneumoniae, tetracycline resistant marker (tetM), and GFP was constructed and used to transform competent M. hyopneumoniae cells. We observed green fluorescence in M. hyopneumoniae transformants under fluorescence microscopy, which indicates that there was expression of the GFP reporter that was driven by the p97 gene promoter. Additionally, an electroporation method for M. hyopneumoniae with an efficiency of approximately 1 x 10-6 transformants/μg plasmid DNA was optimized and is described herein. In conclusion, our data demonstrate the susceptibility of M. hyopneumoniae to genetic manipulation whereby foreign genes are expressed. This work may encourage the development of genetic tools to manipulate the genome of M. hyopneumoniae for functional genomic analyses.

Mycoplasma hyopneumoniae (M. hyopneumoniae) causes porcine enzootic pneumonia (PEP) that significantly affects the pig industry worldwide. Despite the availability of the whole genome sequence, studies on the pathogenesis of this organism have been limited due to the lack of a genetic manipulation system. Therefore, the aim of the current study was to generate a general GFP reporter vector based on a replicating plasmid. Here, we describe the feasibility of GFP reporter expression in M. hyopneumoniae (strain 168L) controlled by the p97 gene promoter of this mycoplasma. An expression plasmid (pMD18-TOgfp) containing the p97 gene promoter, and origin of replication (oriC) of M. hyopneumoniae, tetracycline resistant marker (tetM), and GFP was constructed and used to transform competent M. hyopneumoniae cells. We observed green fluorescence in M. hyopneumoniae transformants under fluorescence microscopy, which indicates that there was expression of the GFP reporter that was driven by the p97 gene promoter. Additionally, an electroporation method for M. hyopneumoniae with an efficiency of approximately 1 x 10-6 transformants/μg plasmid DNA was optimized and is described herein. In conclusion, our data demonstrate the susceptibility of M. hyopneumoniae to genetic manipulation whereby foreign genes are expressed. This work may encourage the development of genetic tools to manipulate the genome of M. hyopneumoniae for functional genomic analyses.