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Microbiology (reading, England)

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Bacterial small RNAs (sRNAs) are important regulators of gene expression; however, the impact of natural mutations on sRNA functions has not been studied extensively. Here we show that the sRNA MgrR contains a unique 53 bp insertion in Escherichia fergusonii, a close relative of Escherichia coli and Salmonella enterica. The insertion is a repetitive extragenic palindromic (REP) sequence that could block transcription, but full-length MgrR is produced in E. fergusonii, showing that the insertion has not affected sRNA production. Additionally, despite containing the large insertion, the sRNA appears to be functional because deletion of mgrR made E. fergusonii more susceptible to H2O2. The molecular details of MgrR's roles in H2O2 defence are yet to be defined, but our results suggest that having an alternative function allowed the sRNA to be retained in E. fergusonii despite it sustaining a large, potentially disruptive mutation.


© 2021 The Authors


Published by the Microbiology Society. Available here after an embargo period.



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Available for download on Sunday, October 01, 2023