Stress and bacterial evolution

Jesus BlazquezRed

 

Jesús Blazquez

Group Leader

Contact

 

Research summary

We try to understand the genetic mechanisms involved in genome stability in bacteria and their roles on evolution and adaptation. Specifically, we study both stable and induced hypermutation/hyper-recombination as “bacterial strategies” to speed adaptation to environmental stress. This knowledge may be useful to i) prevent the development of antibiotic resistance in bacterial pathogens (e.g. Escherichia coli, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Mycobacterium tuberculosis, etc) and ii) to improve prokaryotic species of industrial interest (e.g. Streptomyces, Bifidobacterium, Rhodococcus, Corynebacterium, Pyrococcus, Halobacterium, etc).

 

Publications

A. Castañeda-García, A. I. Prieto, J. Rodríguez-Beltrán, N. Alonso, D. Cantillon, C. Costas, L. Pérez, E. D. Zegeye, M. Herranz, P. Plociński, T. Tonjum, D. García de Viedma, M. Paget, S.J. Waddell, A. M. Rojas, A. J. Doherty and J. Blázquez. A non-canonical mismatch repair pathway in Prokaryotes. Nat Comm 2017; 8:14246

Martín-Gutiérrez G, Rodríguez-Beltrán J, Rodríguez-Martínez JM, Costas C, Aznar J, Pascual Á, Blázquez J. Urinary tract physiological conditions promote ciprofloxacin resistance in low-level-quinolone-resistant Escherichia coli. Antimicrob Agents Chemother 2016; 60: 4252-8

A. Couce, A. Rodríguez-Rojas and J. Blazquez. Determinants of genetic diversity of spontaneous drug-resistance in bacteria. Genetics 2016; 1369-80. doi: 10.1534/genetics.115.185355. PMID:27182949.

J. Rodríguez-Beltrán, J. Tourret, O. Tenaillon, E. López, E. Bourdelier, C. Costas, I. Matic, E. Denamur and J. Blázquez. High recombinant frequency in extra-intestinal pathogenic Escherichia coli strains. Mol Biol Evol 2015; 32(7):1708-16

A Couce, Rodríguez-Rojas, A and Blazquez, J. Bypass of Genetic Constraints During Mutator Evolution to Antibiotic Resistance. Proceedings of the Royal Society B 2015; 282(1804):20142698

 

We try to understand the genetic mechanisms involved in genome stability in bacteria and their roles on evolution and adaptation. Specifically, we study both stable and induced hypermutation/hyper-recombination as “bacterial strategies” to speed adaptation to environmental stress. This knowledge may be useful to i) prevent the development of antibiotic resistance in bacterial pathogens (e.g. Escherichia coli, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, M. tuberculosis, etc) and ii) to improve prokaryotic species of industrial interest (e.g. Streptomyces, Bifidobacterium, Rhodococcus, Corynebacterium, Pyrococcus, Halobacterium, etc).

Main research lines:

1. Regulation of hypermutation and hyper-recombination.

· Transcriptional regulation of specialised DNA polymerases (SOS regulon)

· Regulation of mismatch repair

· Effect of antibiotics on bacterial mutation and recombination: antibiotics as promoters of antibiotic resistance?

2. Genetic basis of genome stability in prokaryotes lacking a canonical MutS-MutL-based DNA mismatch repair (MMR) system: we are studying the possible existence of alternative MMR pathways in these organisms, including most Actinobacteria (e.g. Mycobacterium, Streptomyces, Rhodococcus, etc) and some Archaea (Pyrococcus, Halobacterium, etc).

3. Development of hypermutant/hyper-recombinant prokaryotes of industrial interest as biotechnological tools to produce improved biosynthetic or degrading pathways. Also, we explore the possibility of developing genetically superstable strains.

4. Preventing emergence and evolution of antibiotic resistance: search and characterize compounds able to inhibit the development of antibiotic resistance (by mutation, recombination and horizontal transfer).

BlazquezFigura Red

A strain of Mycobacterium in which nucS gene has been eliminated (1) produces a high number of mutants resistant to the antibiotic present in the Petri dish (rifampicin). However, the parental strain (with nucS active) produces much less mutants (2)./ Alfredo Castañeda and Jesús Blázquez, CNB-CSIC.

 Blazquez web

Name
Position
Contact
Jesús Blázquez Gómez Principal investigator
Susanne Gola Postdoctoral scientist
Alfredo Castañeda García Postdoctoral scientist
Esmeralda Cebrián Predoctoral scientist
Vanessa Baldin Predoctoral scientist
Pablo García Technician

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