Spontaneous tandem chromosomal duplications are common in populations of Escherichia coli and Salmonella typhimurium. They range in frequency for a given locus from 10-2 to 10-4 and probably form by RecA-dependent unequal sister strand exchanges between repetitive sequences in direct order. Certain duplications have been observed previously to confer a growth advantage under specific selective conditions. Tandem chromosomal duplications are unstable and are lost at high frequencies, representing a readily reversible source of genomic variation. Six copies of a small mobile genetic element IS200 are evenly distributed around the chromosome of S. typhimurium strain 1.T2. A survey of 120 independent chromosomal duplications (20 for each of six loci) revealed that recombination between IS200 elements accounted for the majority of the duplications isolated for three of the loci tested. Duplications of the his operon were almost exclusively due to recombination between repeated IS200 elements. These data add further support to the idea that mobile genetic elements provide sequence repeats that play an important role in recombinational chromosome rearrangements, which may contribute to adaptation of bacteria to stressful conditions.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||8|
|State||Published - 1995|
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