Zhou, B., Jerzak, G., Scholes, D. T., Donnelly, M. E., Li, Y., Wentworth, D. E.
Reverse Genetics Plasmid for Cloning Unstable Influenza A Virus Gene Segments
J Virol Methods. 2011 May 01; 173(2): 378-83.
Reverse genetics approaches that enable the generation of recombinant influenza A viruses entirely from plasmids are invaluable for studies on virus replication, morphogenesis, pathogenesis, or transmission. Furthermore, influenza virus reverse genetics is now critical for the development of new vaccines for this human and animal pathogen. Periodically, influenza gene segments are unstable within plasmids in bacteria. The PB2 gene segment of a highly pathogenic avian H5 influenza virus A/Turkey/Ontario/7732/1966 (Ty/Ont) was unstable in commonly available cloning plasmids (e.g., pcDNA3.1/V5-His-TOPO) and in standard influenza virus reverse genetics plasmids (e.g., pHH21), which contain high copy origins of replication. Thus, a low-copy influenza reverse genetics plasmid (pGJ3C3) was developed to enable rapid cloning of unstable influenza A virus genes using ligation-independent recombination-based cloning. The unstable Ty/Ont PB2 gene segment was efficiently cloned using the pGJ3C3 plasmid and this clone was used to rescue a recombinant Ty/Ont virus. This low copy reverse genetics plasmid will be useful for cloning other unstable segments of influenza A viruses in order to rescue recombinant viruses, which will facilitate basic studies and vaccine seed stock production.
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