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Volume 2010, Article ID 426239, 11 pages
Research Article

Towards a Systems Approach in the Genetic Analysis of Archaea: Accelerating Mutant Construction and Phenotypic Analysis in Haloferax volcanii

Department of Microbiology and Cell Science, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611-0700, USA

Received 2 September 2010; Accepted 24 October 2010

Academic Editor: Li Huang

Copyright © 2010 Ian K. Blaby et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


With the availability of a genome sequence and increasingly sophisticated genetic tools, Haloferax volcanii is becoming a model for both Archaea and halophiles. In order for H. volcanii to reach a status equivalent to Escherichia coli, Bacillus subtilis, or Saccharomyces cerevisiae, a gene knockout collection needs to be constructed in order to identify the archaeal essential gene set and enable systematic phenotype screens. A streamlined gene-deletion protocol adapted for potential automation was implemented and used to generate 22 H. volcanii deletion strains and identify several potentially essential genes. These gene deletion mutants, generated in this and previous studies, were then analyzed in a high-throughput fashion to measure growth rates in different media and temperature conditions. We conclude that these high-throughput methods are suitable for a rapid investigation of an H. volcanii mutant library and suggest that they should form the basis of a larger genome-wide experiment.