The construction of engineered bacterial cells with a reduced genome allows the investigation of molecular mechanisms that may be cryptic in wild-type strains and derivatives. Previously, a large-scale combined deletion mutant of Escherichia coli that lacked 29.7% of the parental chromosome was constructed by combining large chromosome deletions. In this work, we improved the system for making markerless-chromosomal deletions and obtained mutants with a genome that lacked up to 38.9% of the parental chromosome. Although the large-scale deletion mutants possessed genes needed for resistance to oxidative stress, including superoxide dismutase, catalase, and RpoS, they were sensitive to menadione, which induces reactive oxygen species during stationary phase. Small genome size did not necessarily correlate with greater sensitivity to menadione as several mutants with large deletions were more resistant to menadione. The sensitivity to menadione depended on whether the mutants were grown aerobically or anaerobically, suggesting that the mechanism governing menadione resistance depended on the oxygen tension of the growth medium. Further analysis of the large-scale deletion mutants should help identify the regulatory networks that are important for cellular defense against oxidative stress.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Molecular Biology