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Cell Rep. 2017 Jan 24;18(4):866-877. doi: 10.1016/j.celrep.2016.12.088.

Evolutionary Remodeling of Bacterial Motility Checkpoint Control.

Author information

1
Max Planck Institute for Terrestrial Microbiology and LOEWE Center for Synthetic Microbiology (SYNMIKRO), Marburg 35043, Germany.
2
Zentrum für Molekulare Biologie der Universität Heidelberg, DKFZ-ZMBH Alliance, Heidelberg 69120, Germany.
3
LOEWE Center for Synthetic Microbiology (SYNMIKRO), Philipps-Universität Marburg, Marburg 35043, Germany.
4
Max Planck Institute for Terrestrial Microbiology and LOEWE Center for Synthetic Microbiology (SYNMIKRO), Marburg 35043, Germany; Zentrum für Molekulare Biologie der Universität Heidelberg, DKFZ-ZMBH Alliance, Heidelberg 69120, Germany. Electronic address: victor.sourjik@synmikro.mpi-marburg.mpg.de.

Abstract

Regulatory networks play a central role in the relationship between genotype and phenotype in all organisms. However, the mechanisms that underpin the evolutionary plasticity of these networks remain poorly understood. Here, we used experimental selection for enhanced bacterial motility in a porous environment to explore the adaptability of one of the most complex networks known in bacteria. We found that the resulting phenotypic changes are mediated by adaptive mutations in several functionally different proteins, including multiple components of the flagellar motor. Nevertheless, this evolutionary adaptation could be explained by a single mechanism, namely remodeling of the checkpoint regulating flagellar gene expression. Supported by computer simulations, our findings suggest that the specific "bow-tie" topology of the checkpoint facilitates evolutionary tuning of the cost-benefit trade-off between motility and growth. We propose that bow-tie regulatory motifs, which are widespread in cellular networks, play a general role in evolutionary adaptation.

KEYWORDS:

adaptation; bacteria; bow tie; evolution; flagella; microorganisms; network; optimization; selection; sigma factor

PMID:
28122238
PMCID:
PMC5289928
DOI:
10.1016/j.celrep.2016.12.088
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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