Dataset Information


Analysis of Pseudomonas aeruginosa evolving in the cystic fibrosis lung uncovers limited evidence that mutator lineages are more genetically variable than non-mutator lineages

ABSTRACT: Pseudomonas aeruginosa evolving in the cystic fibrosis (CF) lung encounters selection via iron-limitation, antibiotics, immune system effectors and other microbes. Standing genetic variation, which depends on rates of horizontal gene transfer (HGT) and mutation supply, controls response to challenges. HGT may increase if new clones successfully invade, while mutator strains increase new mutations. We sought to ascertain genomic signatures of invasion and whether, in the absence of novel invasion, mutator-containing P. aeruginosa populations from chronically infected CF lung are more genetically variable than nonmutator populations. Forty-nine strains from 14 patients treated over three years at Necker Children’s Hospital in Paris were phenotyped for antibiotic resistance, mucoidy and mutator status, and then genotyped by rep-PCR, PFGE and MLST analysis. Overall, strains exhibited greater genetic similarity within patients than among patients, with initial and terminal clones differing markedly between series, indicating unrelated clones independently established infections and resisted invasions that might enlarge genetic variation by sexual recombination. Mutator series were more likely to be multiply antibiotic-resistant, but were no more genetically variable at the single nucleotide level. DNA microarray analyses of bacterial genomes in two longitudinal series of equal duration, one containing and one lacking mutators, revealed both series conspicuously lack genes encoding proteins involved in attachment, motility and amino acid biosynthesis. The mutator series also contained fewer genes hybridizing to canonical PAO1 genome sequences. These data suggest genetic variation arising from mutators may be limited in scope, transient in nature or not easily resolved by fingerprinting, MLST or comparative genomic analyses. Overall design: Clinical P. aeruginosa hypermutator and nonhypermutator lineages from CF lung. Array-based genome hybridization.

INSTRUMENT(S): [Pae_G1a] Affymetrix Pseudomonas aeruginosa Array

ORGANISM(S): Pseudomonas aeruginosa  

SUBMITTER: Kate McInnerney  




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