Dynamics of insertion sequence elements during experimental evolution of bacteria

Res Microbiol. 2004 Jun;155(5):319-27. doi: 10.1016/j.resmic.2003.12.008.


We review the intersection between two areas of microbial evolution that were research foci of Michel Blot. One focus is the behavior of insertion sequence (IS) elements, including their role in promoting the evolutionary adaptation of their hosts. The other focus is experimental evolution, an approach that allows the dynamics of genomic and phenotypic change to be observed in the laboratory. This review shows that IS elements are useful as markers for detecting genomic change over experimental time scales and, moreover, that IS elements generate some of the beneficial mutations that increase organismal fitness.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • DNA Transposable Elements / genetics*
  • Escherichia coli / genetics*
  • Escherichia coli Proteins / genetics
  • Evolution, Molecular*
  • Genes, Bacterial
  • Genetic Markers
  • Mutation / genetics*
  • Phosphoenolpyruvate Sugar Phosphotransferase System / genetics
  • Phylogeny
  • Polymorphism, Restriction Fragment Length


  • DNA Transposable Elements
  • Escherichia coli Proteins
  • Genetic Markers
  • Phosphoenolpyruvate Sugar Phosphotransferase System
  • SgaA protein, E coli