4 years ago

Ongoing evolution of Pseudomonas aeruginosa PAO1 sublines complicates studies of DNA damage repair and tolerance

Sublines of the major P. aeruginosa reference strain PAO1 are derivatives of the original PAO1 isolate, which are maintained in laboratories worldwide. These sublines display substantial genomic and phenotypic variation due to ongoing microevolution. Here, we examined four sublines, MPAO1, PAO1-L, PAO1-DSM and PAO1-UT, originated from different laboratories, and six DNA polymerase-deficient mutants from the P. aeruginosa MPAO1 transposon library for their employment in elucidation of DNA damage repair and tolerance mechanisms in P. aeruginosa. We found that PAO1 subline PAO1-UT carries a large deletion encompassing the DNA damage inducible imuA-imuB-imuC cassette (PA0669-PA0671), which is implied in mutagenesis in several species. Furthermore, the genetic changes leading to variation in the functionality of the MexEF-OprN efflux system contributed largely to the phenotypic discordance between P. aeruginosa PAO1 sublines. Specifically, we identified multiple mutations in the mexT gene, which encodes a transcriptional regulator of the mexEF-oprN genes, mutations in the mexF, and complete absence of these genes. Of the four tested sublines, MPAO1 was the only subline with the functional MexEF-OprN multidrug efflux system. Active efflux through MexEF-OprN rendered MPAO1 highly resistant to chloramphenicol and ciprofloxacin. Moreover, the functions of specialized DNA polymerase IV and nucleotide excision repair (NER) in 4-NQO-induced DNA damage tolerance appeared to be masked in MPAO1, while were easily detectable in other sublines. Finally, the frequencies of spontaneous and MMS-induced Rifr mutations were also significantly lower in MPAO1 in comparison to the PAO1 sublines with impaired MexEF-OprN efflux system. The MexEF-OprN-attributed differences were also observed between MPAO1 and MPAO1-derived transposon mutants from the two-allele transposon mutant collection. Thus, the accumulating mutations and discordant phenotypes of the PAO1 derivatives challenge the reproducibility and comparability of the results obtained with different PAO1 sublines and also limit the usage of the MPAO1 transposon library in DNA damage tolerance and mutagenesis studies.

Publisher URL: www.sciencedirect.com/science

DOI: S0027510716300495

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