Extensive phenotypic and genomic diversity was detected among offspring of ssp. serovar Typhimurium LT2 (nonmutator) and LT7 (mutator, ) strains after decades of storage in sealed nutrient agar stabs. In addition to numerous losses in carbon and nitrogen metabolism, the acquired new metabolites indicated that alternate pathways were established. Particularly striking was the array of phage types when this phenotype was expected to be a stable feature. Evidence is presented regarding the role of mutator gene in the establishment of diversity as well as the ability of cells to return to genetic stabilization. Mutations included deletions, duplications, frameshifts, inversions and transpositions. In competition tests, survivors were more fit than were wild type. Because survival strategies continue to intrigue microbiologists, observations are compared with those of others who have addressed related questions. A brief genealogy of the archived strains is also recorded.


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  • Article Type: Review Article
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