Qian Zhu

Huazhong Agricultural University, Wu-han-shih, Hubei, China

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Publications (4)7.87 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Bacillus thuringiensis serovar finitimus strain YBT-020 is the well-studied spore-crystal association (SCA) phenotypic strain, whose parasporal crystals adhere to spore after lysis of the mother cell. Its endogenous plasmids pBMB26 and pBMB28 were proved essential for this SCA phenotype. In our previous study, using conventional methods, pBMB26 cured derivative and both pBMB26 and pBMB28 cured derivative of YBT-020 were obtained. However, YBT-020 solely cured of pBMB28 could not be obtained. In this study, an unstable replication region of pBMB28 was identified and was used to construct an incompatible plasmid pRep28B. This incompatible plasmid was successfully used to cure plasmid pBMB28 and was easily eliminated through segregational instability under the optimum growth temperature of YBT-020. Therefore, an endogenous plasmid was cured from the B. thuringiensis strain utilizing plasmid incompatibility. Moreover, using an unstable replication region instead of a temperature sensitive (Ts) replication region is better to cure the incompatible plasmid because it can avoid culturing at higher temperature. This method provides an efficient method for plasmid curing in B. thuringiensis and other bacteria.
    No preview · Article · Sep 2015 · Journal of Basic Microbiology
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    ABSTRACT: Crystals in Bacillus thuringiensis are usually formed in the mother cell compartment during sporulation and are separated from the spores after mother cell lysis. In a few strains, crystals are produced inside the exosporium and are associated with the spores after sporulation. This special phenotype, named 'spore crystal association' (SCA), typically occurs in B. thuringiensis subsp. finitimus. Our aim was to identify genes determining the SCA phenotype in B. thuringiensis subsp. finitimus strain YBT-020. Plasmid conjugation experiments indicated that the SCA phenotype in this strain was tightly linked with two large plasmids (pBMB26 and pBMB28). A shuttle bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC) library of strain YBT-020 was constructed. Six fragments from BAC clones were screened from this library and discovered to cover the full length of pBMB26; four others were found to cover pBMB28. Using fragment complementation testing, two fragments, each of approximately 35 kb and located on pBMB26 and pBMB28, were observed to recover the SCA phenotype in an acrystalliferous mutant, B. thuringiensis strain BMB171. Furthermore, deletion analysis indicated that the crystal protein gene cry26Aa from pBMB26, along with five genes from pBMB28, were indispensable to the SCA phenotype. Gene disruption and frame-shift mutation analyses revealed that two of the five genes from pBMB28, which showed low similarity to crystal proteins, determined the location of crystals inside the exosporium. Gene disruption revealed that the three remaining genes, similar to spore germination genes, contributed to the stability of the SCA phenotype in strain YBT-020. Our results thus identified the genes determining the SCA phenotype in B. thuringiensis subsp. finitimus.
    Full-text · Article · Nov 2011 · PLoS ONE
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    ABSTRACT: Bacillus thuringiensis serovar. finitimus strain YBT-020 is a typical strain with the spore-crystal association (SCA) phenotype. In our previous studies, plasmid curing experiment suggested that native plasmid pBMB28 of strain YBT-020 might contribute to the SCA phenotype. Thus, plasmid pBMB28 was cloned in order to isolate the genes related to SCA on pBMB28. Using shuttle vector pEMB0557, a shuttle genomic bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC) library of B. thuringiensis strain YBT-020 was constructed. The plasmid pBMB231 containing crystal protein gene cry28Aa, which was located on plasmid pBMB28, was screened out. By SDS-PAGE analysis and microscopic observation, we discovered the recombinant strain BMB231 that originated from the electrotransfer strain BMB171 with pBMB231 could produce Cry28Aa protein. With the chromosome walking strategy and terminal sequencing of pBMB231, four clones covering the full length of plasmid pBMB28 were screened out from this BAC library. With pulsed gel analysis of the four BAC clones and terminal sequencing, the size of the plasmid was calculated to be 140 kb. This study additionally revealed that we could clone a large plasmid from B. thuringiensis by genomic BAC library construction and overlaping fragment screening.
    No preview · Article · Oct 2011 · Hereditas (Beijing)
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    ABSTRACT: Bacillus thuringiensis is a Gram-positive, spore-forming bacterium that forms parasporal crystals at the onset of the sporulation phase of its growth. Here, we report the complete genome sequence of B. thuringiensis serovar finitimus strain YBT-020, whose parasporal crystals consist of Cry26Aa and Cry28Aa crystal proteins and are located between the exosporium and the spore coat and remain adhering to the spore after sporulation.
    Full-text · Article · Mar 2011 · Journal of bacteriology

Publication Stats

20 Citations
7.87 Total Impact Points


  • 2011
    • Huazhong Agricultural University
      • College of Life Science and Technology
      Wu-han-shih, Hubei, China