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Science. 2003 May 30;300(5624):1404-9.

Stress-induced mutagenesis in bacteria.

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  • 1INSERM U571, Faculté de Médecine Necker-Enfants Malades, Université ParisV, 156 rue Vaugirard, 75730 ParisCedex 15, France.

Abstract

The evolutionary significance of stress-induced mutagenesis was evaluated by studying mutagenesis in aging colonies (MAC) of Escherichia coli natural isolates. A large fraction of isolates exhibited a strong MAC, and the high MAC variability reflected the diversity of selective pressures in ecological niches. MAC depends on starvation, oxygen, and RpoS and adenosine 3',5'-monophosphate regulons; thus it may be a by-product of genetic strategies for improving survival under stress. MAC could also be selected through beneficial mutations that it generates, as shown by computer modeling and the patterns of stress-inducible and constitutive mutagenesis. We suggest that irrespective of the causes of their emergence, stress-induced mutations participate in adaptive evolution.

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PMID:
12775833
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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