Blue/White Screening: (F' Δ(lacZ)M15)makes omega-fragment of β-gal; Δ(lac-proAB) deletes the β-gal gene on the chromosome. pUC19 and similar plasmids code for the α-peptide of β-galactosidase (lacZ). The α-peptide can combine with the omega-fragment of β-galactosidase which is carried on the F' (α-complementation). When β-galactosidase is reconstituted in this manner it can cleave X-gal and results in blue colonies on an X-gal plate. Inserts cloned into the plasmid polylinker disrupt the α-peptide gene and the colonies are white.
Recombination Deficient: (recA1) E. coli has a repair system that will recombine homologous sequences. Genomic clones often have duplicated regions, and RecA mediated rearrangements can be problematic, particularly when regions of homology are longer than 50 bp. Strains that have the RecA function deleted tend to grow more slowly than recA+ strains.
Endonuclease I Deficient: (endA1) The periplasmic space of wild type E. coli cells contains a nonspecific endonuclease. Extreme care must be taken to avoid degradation of plasmids prepared from these cells. The endA mutation deletes this endonuclease and can significantly improve the quality of plasmid preparations.
Restriction Deficient: (hsdR17) Wild type E. coli K12 strains carry a restriction endonuclease which cleaves DNA with sites (AAC(N6)GTGC and GCAC(N6)GTT. While E. coli DNA is protected from degradation by a cognate methyl-transferase, foreign DNA will be cut at these sites. The hsdR mutation eliminates this endonuclease activity. However, this strain has functional methyl restriction systems and may not be suitable for direct cloning of eukaryotic DNA.
M13 phage sensitive: (F´) Infection by M13 and other similar phage requires E. coli surface features conferred by the F plasmid carried by some E. coli strains. Infection by these phage allows production of single-stranded DNA and the generation of phage display libraries. The F plasmid is frequently modified to carry other useful DNA in the cell [e.g. Δ(lacZ)M15 in this cell line] and when modified is called F´.
T1 Phage Resistant: (fhuA2) T1, an extremely virulent phage requires the E. coli ferric hydroxamate uptake receptor for infectivity. Deletion of this gene confers resistance to this type of phage, but does not significantly affect the transformation or growth characteristics of the cell.
Lac Promoter Control: (lacIq) The lac repressor blocks expression from lac, tac and trc promoters frequently carried by expression plasmids. If the level of lac repressor in E. coli cells is not sufficient to inhibit expression via these promoters during transformation or cell growth, even low levels of expression can reduce transformation efficiency and select against desired transformants. The extra molecules of lac repressor in lacIq strains help to minimize promoter activity until IPTG is added.
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