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Microbiol Immunol. 1991;35(4):289-301.

Genetic and molecular analysis of spontaneous respiratory deficient (res-) mutants of Escherichia coli K-12.

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1
Department of Biology, York College of CUNY, Jamaica 11451.

Abstract

Respiratory deficient (res-) mutants of E. coli are slow growing microcolonial, anaerobic, catalase and benzidine negative strains whose broad phenotypic alteration may result from pleiotropic mutations in genes of the hemin biosynthetic pathway. They are easily recovered from platings of sensitive cells on concentrations of gentamicin higher than the minimal inhibitory concentration. These mutants show a dramatic change in their biochemical diagnostic profile resulting primarily from deficiencies in the active transport mechanisms of the cell. Using well-marked F- and Hfr strains, 157 mutants were analyzed from 3 different parent strains; all but 2 resulted from mutations in 3 loci of the hemin biosynthetic pathway. Of these a marked skew to hemB- mutations was seen, with more than 80% mapping there. The possibility that this hot spot resulted from transpositional activity was tested by Southern hybridization of EcoRI digests of the chromosomal DNA, using as a probe, a 2.8-kb fragment containing the hemB gene. The WT and other hemB+ control strains contained a 14.6-kb fragment. Of 18 hemB strains tested, 14 showed deletion and insertion mutations which fell into four classes based on the variation in the size of the fragment or on the absence of hybridization. The latter resulted from complete deletion of the hemB gene. An increase in fragment size from 1.5-kb to 3.4-kb was observed in some of the strains.

PMID:
1943842
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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