Background: A collection of over 20,000 Salmonella typhimurium LT2 mutants, sealed for four decades in agar stabs, is a unique resource for study of genetic and evolutionary changes. Previously, we reported extensive diversity among descendants including diversity in RpoS and catalase synthesis, diversity in genome size, protein content, and reversion from auxotrophy to prototrophy.
Results: Extensive and variable losses and a few gains of catabolic functions were observed by this standardized method. Thus, 95 catabolic reactions were scored in each of three plates in wells containing specific carbon and nitrogen substrates.
Conclusion: While the phenotype microarray did not reveal a distinct pattern of mutation among the archival isolates, the data did confirm that various isolates have used multiple strategies to survive in the archival environment. Data from the MacConkey plates verified the changes in carbohydrate metabolism observed in the Biolog system.