A simple technique for suppressor detection in Escherichia coli

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To study the viability of a gyrA S83 stop mutation found in an Escherichia coli J53 ciprofloxacin-resistant strain (J53 CipR27), a pBR322 derivative was constructed with a TAG mutation in the bla gene knocking out ampicillin resistance. Ampicillin resistance was restored, suggesting that the strain contains tRNA suppressor activity able to suppress the UAG codon gyrA and allow viability. The method was applied to 22 unique clinical E. coli isolates, and all were found to have low-level suppressor activity.

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