The rapid evolution of flagellar ion selectivity in experimental populations of E. coli

Ridone, Pietro and Ishida, Tsubasa and Lin, Angela and Humphreys, David T. and Giannoulatou, Eleni and Sowa, Yoshiyuki and Baker, Matthew A. B. (2022) The rapid evolution of flagellar ion selectivity in experimental populations of E. coli. Science Advances, 8 (47). ISSN 2375-2548

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Determining which cellular processes facilitate adaptation requires a tractable experimental model where an environmental cue can generate variants that rescue function. The bacterial flagellar motor (BFM) is an excellent candidate-an ancient and highly conserved molecular complex for bacterial propulsion toward favorable environments. Motor rotation is often powered by H(+) or Na(+) ion transit through the torque-generating stator subunit of the motor complex, and ion selectivity has adapted over evolutionary time scales. Here, we used CRISPR engineering to replace the native Escherichia coli H(+)-powered stator with Na(+)-powered stator genes and report the spontaneous reversion of our edit in a low-sodium environment. We followed the evolution of the stators during their reversion to H(+)-powered motility and used both whole-genome and RNA sequencing to identify genes involved in the cell's adaptation. Our transplant of an unfit protein and the cells' rapid response to this edit demonstrate the adaptability of the stator subunit and highlight the hierarchical modularity of the flagellar motor.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: R Medicine > R Medicine (General)
Depositing User: Repository Administrator
Date Deposited: 03 Mar 2023 04:38
Last Modified: 21 Mar 2023 01:20

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