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Impact of Rap-Phr system abundance on adaptation of Bacillus subtilis

By Ramses Gallegos-Monterrosa, Mathilde Nordgaard Christensen, Tino Barchewitz, Sonja Koppenhöfer, B. Priyadarshini, Balázs Bálint, Gergely Maróti, Paul J Kempen, Anna Dragoš, Ákos T. Kovács

Posted 01 Sep 2020
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/2020.09.01.278184

Microbes commonly display great genetic plasticity, which has allowed them to colonize all ecological niches on Earth. Bacillus subtilis is a soil-dwelling organism that can be isolated from a wide variety of environments. An interesting characteristic of this bacterium is its ability to form biofilms that display complex heterogeneity: individual, clonal cells develop diverse phenotypes in response to different environmental conditions within the biofilm. Here, we scrutinized the impact that the number and variety of the Rap-Phr family of regulators and cell-cell communication modules of B. subtilis has on genetic adaptation and evolution. We examine how the Rap family of phosphatase regulators impacts sporulation in diverse niches using a library of single and double rap-phr mutants in competition under 4 distinct growth conditions. Using specific DNA barcodes and whole-genome sequencing, population dynamics were followed, revealing the impact of individual Rap phosphatases and arising mutations on the adaptability of B. subtilis . ### Competing Interest Statement The authors have declared no competing interest.

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