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CcrM is an orphan DNA methyltransferase nearly universally conserved in a vast group of Alphaproteobacteria. In Caulobacter crescentus, it controls the expression of key genes involved in the regulation of the cell cycle and cell division. Here, we demonstrate, using an experimental evolution approach, that C. crescentus can significantly compensate, through easily accessible genetic changes like point mutations, the severe loss in fitness due to the absence of CcrM, quickly improving its growth rate and cell morphology in rich medium. By analyzing the compensatory mutations genome-wide in 12 clones sampled from independent ΔccrM populations evolved for ~300 generations, we demonstrated that each of the twelve clones carried at least one mutation that potentially stimulated ftsZ expression, suggesting that the low intracellular levels of FtsZ are the major burden of ΔccrM mutants. In addition, we …
American Society for Microbiology
Publication date: 
1 Sep 2015

Diego Gonzalez, Justine Collier

Biblio References: 
Volume: 6 Issue: 4