Caister Academic Press

DNA Instability in Bacterial Genomes: Causes and Consequences

Pedro H. Oliveira, Duarte M. F. Prazeres and Gabriel A. Monteiro
from: Genome Analysis: Current Procedures and Applications (Edited by: Maria S. Poptsova). Caister Academic Press, U.K. (2014)


DNA is a structurally dynamic molecule that is central to cellular processes such as replication, transcription and recombination. In order to maintain genomic integrity, bacteria have developed a finely tuned and interwoven network of mechanisms that operate at multiple levels, and include damage recognition, signaling pathways, and DNA repair. On the other hand, without the capacity to accommodate genotypic variation up to a certain extent, bacteria would not be able to modify their fitness when faced with constantly changing environments. Herein we review our current knowledge on bacterial genome instability, with particular emphasis on findings gained from the often-studied gram-negative model organism Escherichia coli. We will address topics such as spontaneous and stress-induced mutagenesis, major DNA repair pathways, and the design of more stable genomes. Major questions and future challenges will also be discussed read more ...
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