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PLoS One. 2012;7(10):e48511. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0048511. Epub 2012 Oct 31.

Mutation frequency and spectrum of mutations vary at different chromosomal positions of Pseudomonas putida.

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  • 1Department of Genetics, Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology, Tartu University and Estonian Biocentre, Estonia.


It is still an open question whether mutation rate can vary across the bacterial chromosome. In this study, the occurrence of mutations within the same mutational target sequences at different chromosomal locations of Pseudomonas putida was monitored. For that purpose we constructed two mutation detection systems, one for monitoring the occurrence of a broad spectrum of mutations and transposition of IS element IS1411 inactivating LacI repressor, and another for detecting 1-bp deletions. Our results revealed that both the mutation frequency and the spectrum of mutations vary at different chromosomal positions. We observed higher mutation frequencies when the direction of transcription of the mutational target gene was opposite to the direction of replisome movement in the chromosome and vice versa, lower mutation frequency was accompanied with co-directional transcription and replication. Additionally, asymmetry of frameshift mutagenesis at homopolymeric and repetitive sequences during the leading and lagging-strand replication was found. The transposition frequency of IS1411 was also affected by the chromosomal location of the target site, which implies that regional differences in chromosomal topology may influence transposition of this mobile element. The occurrence of mutations in the P. putida chromosome was investigated both in growing and in stationary-phase bacteria. We found that the appearance of certain mutational hot spots is strongly affected by the chromosomal location of the mutational target sequence especially in growing bacteria. Also, artificial increasing transcription of the mutational target gene elevated the frequency of mutations in growing bacteria.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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