Document Type


Publication Date


Publication Title

Journal of Biological Engineering


Thayer School of Engineering


Temperature-sensitive (Ts) plasmids are useful tools for genetic engineering, but there are currently none compatible with the gram positive, thermophilic, obligate anaerobe, Clostridium thermocellum. Traditional mutagenesis techniques yield Ts mutants at a low frequency, and therefore requires the development of high-throughput screening protocols, which are also not available for this organism. Recently there has been progress in the development of computer algorithms which can predict Ts mutations. Most plasmids currently used for genetic modification of C. thermocellum are based on the replicon of plasmid pNW33N, which replicates using the RepB replication protein. To address this problem, we set out to create a Ts plasmid by mutating the gene coding for the RepB replication protein using an algorithm designed by Varadarajan et al. (1996) for predicting Ts mutants based on the amino-acid sequence of the protein.



Original Citation

Olson DG, Lynd LR. Computational design and characterization of a temperature-sensitive plasmid replicon for gram positive thermophiles. J Biol Eng. 2012 May 11;6(1):5. doi: 10.1186/1754-1611-6-5. PMID: 22578246; PMCID: PMC3464808.