Research Article

Stress-Induced Mutagenesis in Bacteria

See allHide authors and affiliations

Science  30 May 2003:
Vol. 300, Issue 5624, pp. 1404-1409
DOI: 10.1126/science.1082240

You are currently viewing the abstract.

View Full Text

Log in to view the full text

Log in through your institution

Log in through your institution

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.

  • * These authors contributed equally to this work.

View Full Text