Isolation of α-toxin, θ-toxin and κ-toxin mutants of Clostridium perfringens by Tn916 mutagenesis

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Clostridium perfringens is the causative agent of clostridial myonecrosis or gas gangrene and mediates infection and disease by producing numerous extracellular toxins, including α-toxin, θ-toxin and κ-toxin. Tn916-mutagenesis was used to isolate mutants defective in their ability to produce either α-toxin or θ-toxin. Nine independently derived mutants were isolated. In four of these mutants Tn916 had inserted at sites located 193 bp or 198 bp upstream of the θ-toxin structural gene, pfoA. Four mutants contained large deletions, three in regions which encompassed the θ-toxin structural and regulatory genes pfoA and pfoR, respectively, and the κ- toxin structural gene, colA, and one in a region encompassing the α-toxin structural gene, plc. These mutants should prove to be invaluable for further genetic studies aimed at determining the role of these toxins in virulence.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)275-284
Number of pages10
JournalMicrobial Pathogenesis
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 1997


  • C. pefringens
  • genomic deletions
  • Tn916
  • transposon mutagenesis
  • Virulence
  • α-toxin
  • θ-toxin
  • κ-toxin

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