Document Detail

Laboratory adapted Escherichia coli K-12 becomes a pathogen of Caenorhabditis elegans upon restoration of O antigen biosynthesis.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  23350972     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Escherichia coli has been the leading model organism for many decades. It is a fundamental player in modern biology, facilitating the molecular biology revolution of the last century. The acceptance of E. coli as model organism is predicated primarily on the study of one E. coli lineage; E. coli K-12. However, the antecedents of today's laboratory strains have undergone extensive mutagenesis to create genetically tractable offspring but which resulted in loss of several genetic traits such as O antigen expression. Here we have repaired the wbbL locus, restoring the ability of E. coli K-12 strain MG1655 to express the O antigen. We demonstrate that O antigen production results in drastic alterations of many phenotypes and the density of the O antigen is critical for the observed phenotypes. Importantly, O antigen production enables laboratory strains of E. coli to enter the gut of the Caenorhabditis elegans worm and to kill C. elegans at rates similar to pathogenic bacterial species. We demonstrate C. elegans killing is a feature of other commensal E. coli. We show killing is associated with bacterial resistance to mechanical shear and persistence in the C. elegans gut. These results suggest C. elegans is not an effective model of human-pathogenic E. coli infectious disease.
Douglas F Browning; Timothy J Wells; Fernanda L S França; Faye C Morris; Yanina R Sevastsyanovich; Jack A Bryant; Matthew D Johnson; Peter A Lund; Adam F Cunningham; Jon L Hobman; Robin C May; Mark A Webber; Ian R Henderson
Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't     Date:  2013-01-28
Journal Detail:
Title:  Molecular microbiology     Volume:  87     ISSN:  1365-2958     ISO Abbreviation:  Mol. Microbiol.     Publication Date:  2013 Mar 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2013-02-25     Completed Date:  2013-08-23     Revised Date:  2014-10-14    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  8712028     Medline TA:  Mol Microbiol     Country:  England    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  939-50     Citation Subset:  IM    
Copyright Information:
© 2013 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.
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MeSH Terms
Caenorhabditis elegans / microbiology*
Escherichia coli K12 / genetics,  metabolism*,  pathogenicity*
Escherichia coli Proteins / genetics,  metabolism
O Antigens / biosynthesis*,  genetics
Grant Support
BB/G012016/1//Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council; G0801209//Medical Research Council; //Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council; //Medical Research Council
Reg. No./Substance:
0/Escherichia coli Proteins; 0/O Antigens

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