Streptomycin and nalidixic acid elevate the spontaneous genome-wide mutation rate in Escherichia coli

Ozdemirel H. Ö., Ulusal D., KÜÇÜKYILDIRIM ÇELİK S.

GENETICA, vol.149, no.1, pp.73-80, 2021 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 149 Issue: 1
  • Publication Date: 2021
  • Doi Number: 10.1007/s10709-021-00114-w
  • Journal Name: GENETICA
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, Aquatic Science & Fisheries Abstracts (ASFA), BIOSIS, CAB Abstracts, EMBASE, MEDLINE, Veterinary Science Database
  • Page Numbers: pp.73-80
  • Keywords: Antibiotic resistance, Mutagenicity test, Mutation spectrum, Mutation accumulation
  • Hacettepe University Affiliated: Yes


Since antibiotic resistance is a growing public health problem worldwide, it is important to understand how antibiotics and spontaneous mutations cooperate and shape the genome-wide mutation rate and spectrum. Here, we quantitatively evaluate genome-wide mutational profiles of Escherichia coli after long-term subinhibitory exposure to a broad-spectrum (streptomycin) and a narrow-spectrum antibiotic (nalidixic acid), using a mutation accumulation design combined with whole-genome resequencing of replicate lines as a mutagenicity test. We determined that, while the genome-wide mutation rate is slightly higher in the streptomycin-treated lines compared to the control lines, there is a significant increase in the nalidixic acid-treated lines. Our findings suggest that both broad and narrow-spectrum antibiotics may elevate the mutation rates in E. coli, but mechanisms of action may affect the consequence, thus contribute to accelerating the rate of adaptation and conferring antibiotic resistance.