Working group: "Computational Biology"

2011, the 18th of January

David Bikard

Title: Integron recombination mechanism and dynamics.


Integron are recombination systems that play a major role in the spread of antibiotic resistances. They are DNA platforms able to capture new gene cassettes and shuffle an existing cassette array. When the bacteria is stressed, the integron recombinase (or integrase) is expressed and generates new combinations of genetic elements, potentially leading to adaptive solutions in stressful environments. These recombination reactions use an unconventional mechanism involving a folded single-stranded attC site. Modeling of attC site folding together with experimental measurements of recombination frequencies, allowed to uncover the pathways allowing attC sites to fold into the structure recognized by the integrase. We are now also using the wealth of data provided by DNA sequencing to study the dynamics of integron recombination in the light of these new mechanistic insights.