Working group: "Computational Biology"

2011, the 8th of February

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.