The aspartate-semialdehyde dehydrogenase of Edwardsiella ictaluri and its use as balanced-lethal system in fish vaccinology

Javier Santander, Wei Xin, Zhao Yang, Roy Curtiss

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

18 Scopus citations


asdA mutants of Gram-negative bacteria have an obligate requirement for diaminopimelic acid (DAP), which is an essential constituent of the peptidoglycan layer of the cell wall of these organisms. In environments deprived of DAP, i.e., animal tissues, they will undergo lysis. Deletion of the asdA gene has previously been exploited to develop antibiotic-sensitive strains of live attenuated recombinant bacterial vaccines. Introduction of an Asd+ plasmid into a DasdA mutant makes the bacterial strain plasmid-dependent. This dependence on the Asd+ plasmid vector creates a balanced-lethal complementation between the bacterial strain and the recombinant plasmid. E. ictaluri is an enteric Gram-negative fish pathogen that causes enteric septicemia in catfish. Because E. ictaluri is a nasal/oral invasive intracellular pathogen, this bacterium is a candidate to develop a bath/oral live recombinant attenuated Edwardsiella vaccine (RAEV) for the catfish aquaculture industry. As a first step to develop an antibiotic-sensitive RAEV strain, we characterized and deleted the E. ictaluri asdA gene. E. ictaluri DasdA01 mutants exhibit an absolute requirement for DAP to grow. The asdA gene of E. ictaluri was complemented by the asdA gene from Salmonella. Several Asd+ expression vectors with different origins of replication were transformed into E. ictaluri DasdA01. Asd+ vectors were compatible with the pEI1 and pEI2 E. ictaluri native plasmids. The balanced-lethal system was satisfactorily evaluated in vivo. Recombinant GFP, PspA, and LcrV proteins were synthesized by E. ictaluri DasdA01 harboring Asd+ plasmids. Here we constructed a balanced-lethal system, which is the first step to develop an antibiotic-sensitive RAEV for the aquaculture industry.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere15944
JournalPloS one
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 1 2010


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • General

Cite this