A small RNA is functional in Escherichia fergusonii despite containing a large insertion

Austin P. Wright, H. Auguste Dutcher, Brianna Butler, Timothy J. Nice, Rahul Raghavan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


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 H2 O2 . The molecular details of MgrR’s roles in H2 O2 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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number001099
JournalMicrobiology (United Kingdom)
Issue number10
StatePublished - 2021


  • Escherichia fergusonii
  • MgrR
  • Oxidative stress
  • SRNA
  • SRNA evolution

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology


Dive into the research topics of 'A small RNA is functional in Escherichia fergusonii despite containing a large insertion'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this