Cyanobacterial defense mechanisms against foreign DNA transfer and their impact on genetic engineering.
We improved genetic transformation of the thermophilic cyanobacterium, Thermosynechococcus elongatus BP-1, by combining electroporation with a top agar method. Transformation was also improved when a disruptant of a putative type I restriction endonuclease (tll2230) was used as recipient cells. In particular, some constructs, with which wild type has never been transformed, were successfully integrated into the tll2230-disruptant. Single-crossover recombination was detected more frequently than the double-crossover recombination. In accordance with the presence of all the homologs of pil genes in Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803, we found that T. elongatus is naturally transformable with exogenous DNA.