The Escherichia coli plasmid pBR322 sequence (4363 bp) was integrated at the met, pro, or leuB locus of the Bacillus subtilis chromosome without duplication of the flanking chromosomal regions. The integrated pBR322 was stably maintained as part of the chromosome regardless of its orientation or location. It was found that a DNA segment as large as 17 kb cloned in pBR322 can be readily transferred to the B. subtilis chromosome by transformation. It was demonstrated that a second pBR322 sequence could be effectively introduced at different regions of the chromosome by sequential transformation using chromosomal DNA isolated from a strain that had already acquired a pBR322 sequence at a different locus. Similarly, a third pBR322 sequence could be introduced. By this method, two or three pBR322 sequences can be incorporated at unlinked loci without affecting the overall structure of the B. subtilis genome.
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