Control of chromosomal rearrangements in Escherichia coli

Joe Don Heath, The University of Texas Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences at Houston


A complete physical map of Escherichia coli K-12 strain MG1655 was constructed by digesting chromosomal DNA with the infrequently cutting restriction enzymes NotI, SfiI and XbaI and separating the fragments by pulsed field gel electrophoresis. The map was used to compare six K-12 strains of E. coli. Although several differences were noted and localized, the map of MG1655 was representative of all the K-12 strains tested. The maps were also used to analyze chromosomal rearrangements in the E. coli strain MG1655. The spontaneous and UV induced frequencies of tandem duplication formation were measured at several loci distributed around the chromosome. The spontaneous duplication frequency varied from 10$\sp{-5}$ to 10$\sp{-3}$ and increased at least ten-fold following mild UV irradiation treatment. Duplications of several regions of the chromosome, including the serA region and the metE region, were mapped using pulsed field gel electrophoresis. Duplications of serA were found to be large, ranging in size from 600 kb to 2100 kb. Several of the duplications isolated at serA were caused by ectopic recombination between IS5 elements and between IS186 elements. Duplications of the metE region, however, were almost exclusively the result of ectopic recombination between ribosomal RNA cistrons. Duplication frequencies were determined at both serA and metE in wild type and mismatch repair mutant strains (mutL, mutS, uvrD and recF). Even though all of the mismatch repair mutations increased duplication frequency of metE, the largest increases were observed in the mutL and mutS strains. Duplication frequency of serA was increased less dramatically by mutations in mismatch repair. Several duplications of metE isolated in a wild type and a mismatch repair mutant were mapped. The results showed that the same repeated sequences were used for duplication formation in the mismatch repair mutant as were used in the wild type strain. Several isolates showed evidence of multiple rearrangements indicating that mismatch repair may play a role in stabilizing the genome by controlling chromosomal rearrangement.

Subject Area

Molecular biology|Microbiology

Recommended Citation

Heath, Joe Don, "Control of chromosomal rearrangements in Escherichia coli" (1992). Texas Medical Center Dissertations (via ProQuest). AAI9228966.