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Stress-Induced Mutagenesis in Bacteria

Ivana Bjedov, Olivier Tenaillon, Bénédicte Gérard, Valeria Souza, Erick Denamur, Miroslav Radman, François Taddei and Ivan Matic
Science
New Series, Vol. 300, No. 5624 (May 30, 2003), pp. 1404-1409
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3833982
Page Count: 6
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Stress-Induced Mutagenesis in Bacteria
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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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