Modularity and determinants of a (bi-)polarization control system from free-living and obligate intracellular bacteria
Caulobacter crescentus is widely used as a powerful model system for the study of prokaryotic cell biology and development. Analysis of this organism is complicated by a limited selection of tools for genetic manipulation and inducible gene expression. This study reports the identification and functional characterization of a vanillate-regulated promoter (P(van)) which meets all requirements for application as a multi-purpose expression system in Caulobacter, thus complementing the established xylose-inducible system (P(xyl)). Furthermore, we introduce a newly constructed set of integrating and replicating shuttle vectors that considerably facilitate cell biological and physiological studies in Caulobacter. Based on different narrow and broad-host range replicons, they offer a wide choice of promoters, resistance genes, and fusion partners for the construction of fluorescently or affinity-tagged proteins. Since many of these constructs are also suitable for use in other bacteria, this work provides a comprehensive collection of tools that will enrich many areas of microbiological research.