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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

An 'instant gene bank' method for gene cloning by mutant complementation.

We describe a new method of gene cloning by complementation of mutant alleles which obviates the need for construction of a gene library in a plasmid vector in vitro and its amplification in Escherichia coli. The method involves simultaneous transformation of mutant strains of the fungus Aspergillus nidulans with (i) fragmented chromosomal DNA from a donor species and (ii) DNA of a plasmid without a selectable marker gene, but with a fungal origin of DNA replication ('helper plasmid'). Transformant colonies appear as the result of the joining of chromosomal DNA fragments carrying the wild-type copies of the mutant allele with the helper plasmid. Joining may occur either by ligation (if the helper plasmid is in linear form) or recombination (if it is cccDNA). This event occurs with high efficiency in vivo, and generates an autonomously replicating plasmid cointegrate. Transformants containing Penicillium chrysogenum genomic DNA complementing A. nidulans niaD, nirA and argB mutations have been obtained. While some of these cointegrates were evidently rearranged or consisted only of unaltered replicating plasmid, in other cases plasmids could be recovered into E. coli and were subsequently shown to contain the selected gene. The utility of this "instant gene bank" technique is demonstrated here by the molecular cloning of the P. canescens trpC gene.[1]


  1. An 'instant gene bank' method for gene cloning by mutant complementation. Gems, D., Aleksenko, A., Belenky, L., Robertson, S., Ramsden, M., Vinetski, Y., Clutterbuck, A.J. Mol. Gen. Genet. (1994) [Pubmed]
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