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Rapid Mapping of Conditional and Auxotrophic Mutations in Escherichia coli K-12

  • Brooks Low
Publication Date
Feb 01, 1973


The approximate genetic map locations of auxotrophic and conditional lethal mutations of Escherichia coli can be rapidly determined with replica plating techniques. A set of patches of 15 streptomycin-sensitive (StrS) Hfr strains with points of origin distributed around the map is replica plated onto a recombinant-selective plate with a lawn of StrR cells which carry an unmapped mutation. The map interval defined by the Hfr points of origin which are closest to the mutant locus is seen by the presence or absence of heavy patches of recombinants produced by transfer of early wild-type genes from the Hfrs. An alternative method is to replicate patches of different mutant strains (100 per plate) onto Hfr lawns; in this case more than 1,000 different mutants can be mapped in a single experiment in a few days. In this way, many types of mutations with similar phenotypes can be grouped as to approximate location on the genetic map. For ordering mutations within groups, the same replica plating methods can be used to cross F-prime derivatives of mutants with other mutants of the same group. Relative merits of these and other mapping methods of E. coli are discussed.

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