Heterogeneity in populations of enterohaemorrhagic Escherichia coli undergoing D-serine adaptation

O'Boyle, N. and Roe, A. J. (2021) Heterogeneity in populations of enterohaemorrhagic Escherichia coli undergoing D-serine adaptation. Current Genetics, 67(2), pp. 221-224. (doi: 10.1007/s00294-020-01130-7) (PMID:33219834)

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Phenotypic and genetic heterogeneities are conserved features of prokaryotic populations. During periods of stress, this programmed diversity increases the likelihood that variants within the population will survive the adverse conditions, allowing for proliferation. Phenotypic heterogeneity can have a mutational or indeed a non-mutational basis as observed in bet-hedging strategies adopted by antibiotic-tolerant persister cells. Genetic variants can arise by phase variation (slip-strand mispairing, promoter inversions etc.), nucleotide polymorphisms resulting from replication errors or larger rearrangements such as deletions and insertions. In the face of selective pressures, these alterations may be neutral, beneficial or deleterious. We recently described the genetic basis of tolerance to a normally toxic metabolite, D-serine (D-ser) in enterohaemorrhagic E. coli (EHEC). Here we summarize our work in the context of population dynamics, provide further discussion on the distinction between these tolerance mechanisms and the importance of heterogeneity for maximising adaptive potential.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Roe, Professor Andrew and O?Boyle, Dr Nicky
Authors: O'Boyle, N., and Roe, A. J.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Infection & Immunity
Journal Name:Current Genetics
ISSN (Online):1432-0983
Published Online:21 November 2020
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2020 The Authors
First Published:First published in Current Genetics 67(2): 221-224
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
300280The Role of Dietary D-serine in Health and DiseaseAndrew RoeBiotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC)BB/R006539/1III - Bacteriology