New efficient random DNA mutagenesis method!

New efficient random DNA mutagenesis method!

Methods to enhance random mutagenesis in cells offer advantages over in vitro mutagenesis, but current in vivo methods suffer from a lack of control, genomic instability, low efficiency and narrow mutational spectra.

Using a mechanism-driven approach, researchers created a potent, inducible, broad-spectrum and vector-based mutagenesis system in E. coli that enhances mutation 322,000-fold over basal levels, surpassing the mutational efficiency and spectra of widely used in vivo and in vitro methods.

 The authors demonstrate in the journal Nature Communications that this system can be used to evolve antibiotic resistance in wild-type E. coli in <24 h, outperforming chemical mutagens, ultraviolet light and the mutator strain XL1-Red under similar conditions.

This system also enables the continuous evolution of T7 RNA polymerase variants capable of initiating transcription using the T3 promoter in <10 h.

These findings enable broad-spectrum mutagenesis of chromosomes, episomes and viruses in vivo, and are applicable to both bacterial and bacteriophage-mediated laboratory evolution platforms.