On the mutational topology of the bacterial genome

Patricia L. Foster, Andrew J. Hanson, Heewook Lee, Ellen M. Popodi, Haixu Tang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

59 Scopus citations


By sequencing the genomes of 34 mutation accumulation lines of a mismatch-repair defective strain of Escherichia coli that had undergone a total of 12,750 generations, we identified 1625 spontaneous base-pair substitutions spread across the E. coli genome. These mutations are not distributed at random but, instead, fall into a wave-like spatial pattern that is repeated almost exactly in mirror image in the two separately replicated halves of the bacterial chromosome. The pattern is correlated to genomic features, with mutation densities greatest in regions predicted to have high superhelicity. Superimposed upon this pattern are regional hotspots, some of which are located where replication forks may collide or be blocked. These results suggest that, as they traverse the chromosome, the two replication forks encounter parallel structural features that change the fidelity of DNA replication

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)399-407
Number of pages9
JournalG3: Genes, Genomes, Genetics
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Chromosome
  • DNA polymerase
  • Errors
  • Evolution
  • Fidelity
  • Mutation rate
  • Replication
  • Structure

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics
  • Genetics(clinical)


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