Introduction: RNA polymerase and ribosomes, composing the macromolecular synthesis machinery (MMSM), carry out the central processes of transcription and translation, but are usually seen as mechanical elements with no regulatory function. Extensive investigations of gene regulation and the high degree of evolutionary conservation of the cellular MMSM tend to support this view. However, under certain selective conditions the machinery itself may be targeted by adaptive mutations, which result in fitness-increasing phenotypic changes. Here we investigate and characterize the role of ribosomal mutations in adaptive evolution. Methods: Several mutations in ribosomal genes have been identified in the genome analysis of nearly 700 Pseudomonas aeruginosa isolates from infected cystic fibrosis patients. Among these mutations we have repeatedly identified insertions, deletions and substitutions in specific ribosomal genes. The bacterial phenotypes of the mutated strains will be investigated. Results: Preliminary assays show that mutant strains have reduced growth rate and an altered antibiotic resistance pattern. The selection for mutations in ribosomal protein genes is partly explainable by the antibiotic treatment of the patient. However, other mutations cannot be directly associated with antibiotic resistance. Conclusions: Clarification of the potential pleiotropic consequences of the specific mutations in ribosomal proteins is important for our understanding of biological evolution, and will have impacts on the design of new treatment strategies to combat microbial infections.
|Title of host publication||The Danish Microbiological Society Annual Congress 2015 : Programme & Abstracts|
|Place of Publication||Copenhagen|
|Publication status||Published - 2015|
|Event||The Danish Microbiological Society Annual Congress 2015 - Eigtved's Pakhus, Copenhagen, Denmark|
Duration: 9 Nov 2015 → 9 Nov 2015
|Conference||The Danish Microbiological Society Annual Congress 2015|
|Period||09/11/2015 → 09/11/2015|