Impact of increased mutagenesis on adaptation to high temperature in bacteriophage Q beta

Arribas, M., Cabanillas, L., Kubota, K., Lazaro, E. 2016. Impact of increased mutagenesis on adaptation to high temperature in bacteriophage Q beta. Virology 497, 163-170 DOI: 10.1016/j.virol.2016.07.007

RNA viruses replicate with very high error rates, which makes them more sensitive to additional increases in this parameter. This fact has inspired an antiviral strategy named lethal mutagenesis, which is based on the artificial increase of the error rate above a threshold incompatible with virus infectivity. A relevant issue concerning lethal mutagenesis is whether incomplete treatments might enhance the adaptive possibilities of viruses. We have addressed this question by subjecting an RNA virus, the bacteriophage Q beta, to different transmission regimes in the presence or the absence of sublethal concentrations of the mutagenic nucleoside analogue 5-azacytidine (AZC). Populations obtained were subsequently exposed to a non-optimal temperature and analyzed to determine their consensus sequences. Our results show that previously mutagenized populations rapidly fixed a specific set of mutations upon propagation at the new temperature, suggesting that the expansion of the mutant spectrum caused by AZC has an influence on later evolutionary behavior. (C) 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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