Streptococcus pneumoniae is the causative agent of a multitude of diseases and further study into its pathogenies is vital. The pneumococcus is genetically malleable and several tools are available to manipulate this pathogen. In this study, we attempted to utilize one such tool, the Sweet Janus cassette, to replace the capsule locus with other capsule loci in our strain background and found that the efficiency of allelic replacement was low and the number of revertant false-positive colonies was high. We determined that the capacity to recombine capsule varied by the initial isolated colony, suggesting that frequency of reversion is dependent on the bacterial cell line. Alternative selection markers may further expand the application of Sweet Janus. We created novel cassettes that utilized chlorinated phenylalanine as an alternative counter-selection agent in conjunction with the Janus or Sweet Janus cassette, providing a new dual or triple selection marker. Moreover, we created cassettes that do not require engineered resistance in the background strain, including both single and dual selection markers. We were able to utilize all constructs in allelic replacement of the capsule loci. These novel constructs provide a new means for generating gene deletions in S. pneumoniae that expand experimental applications.
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