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Origin and fate of PHO-constitutive mutants in Escherichia coli

Grant number: 18/16219-5
Support type:Regular Research Grants
Duration: December 01, 2018 - February 28, 2021
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Genetics - Molecular Genetics and Genetics of Microorganisms
Principal researcher:Beny Spira
Grantee:Beny Spira
Home Institution: Instituto de Ciências Biomédicas (ICB). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil


Mutations are rare and random events that occur in the genome of an organism. Since the classical Luria-Delbrück demonstration, it is known that mutations in bacteria occur at random, i.e., they are not targeted to specific loci in response to specific selective pressures. However, there is a second category of bacterial mutations that appear to be targeted, the so-called adaptive mutations. The mechanism of origin of these mutations suggests that they occur in response to specific environmental stimuli. The nature of adaptive mutations is controversial, and is still the subject of intense debate.PHO-constitutive mutations have several characteristics common to adaptive mutations: they arise only after contact with the selective agent (glycerol-2-phosphate), emerge longitudinally in the selection plate and present a sigmoid curve of accumulation of mutants. Nevertheless, recent findings in our laboratory suggest that theorigin of these mutants is not adaptive. We believe that the characteristics describedabove can be explained by a new phenomenon: growth inhibition of the mutants in the selective medium. In this project we will investigate the phenomenon of growth inhibition. This will be characterized in several ways and hypotheses will be tested. (AU)

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Scientific publications
(References retrieved automatically from Web of Science and SciELO through information on FAPESP grants and their corresponding numbers as mentioned in the publications by the authors)
NEVES, HENRIQUE IGLESIAS; MACHADO, GABRIELLA TROMBINI; RAMOS, TAISSA CRISTINA DOS SANTOS; YANG, HYUN MO; YAGIL, EZRA; SPIRA, BENY. Competition for nutritional resources masks the true frequency of bacterial mutants. BMC Biology, v. 18, n. 1 DEC 14 2020. Web of Science Citations: 0.

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