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Rates of transposition in Escherichia coli

By A. Sousa, C. Bourgard, L. M. Wahl and I. Gordo


The evolutionary role of transposable elements (TEs) is still highly controversial. Two key parameters, the transposition rate (u and w, for replicative and non-replicative transposition) and the excision rate (e) are fundamental to understanding their evolution and maintenance in populations. We have estimated u, w and e for six families of TEs (including eight members: IS1, IS2, IS3, IS4, IS5, IS30, IS150 and IS186) in Escherichia coli, using a mutation accumulation (MA) experiment. In this experiment, mutations accumulate essentially at the rate at which they appear, during a period of 80 500 (1610 generations × 50 lines) generations, and spontaneous transposition events can be detected. This differs from other experiments in which insertions accumulated under strong selective pressure or over a limited genomic target. We therefore provide new estimates for the spontaneous rates of transposition and excision in E. coli. We observed 25 transposition and three excision events in 50 MA lines, leading to overall rate estimates of u ∼ 1.15 × 10(-5), w ∼ 4 × 10(-8) and e ∼ 1.08 × 10(-6) (per element, per generation). Furthermore, extensive variation between elements was found, consistent with previous knowledge of the mechanisms and regulation of transposition for the different elements.Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada, LAO/ITQB, FCT

Topics: transposable elements, insertion sequences, rate of transposition, Escherichia coli, mutation accumulation
Publisher: 'The Royal Society'
Year: 2013
DOI identifier: 10.1098/rsbl.2013.0838.
OAI identifier:

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