Butland G, Babu M, Díaz-Mejía JJ, Bohdana F, Phanse S, Gold B, Yang W, Li J, Gagarinova AG, Pogoutse O, Mori H, Wanner BL, Lo H, Wasniewski J, Christopolous C, Ali M, Venn P, Safavi-Naini A, Sourour N, Caron S, Choi JY, Laigle L, Nazarians-Armavil A, Deshpande A, Joe S, Datsenko KA, Yamamoto N, Andrews BJ, Boone C, Ding H, Sheikh B, Moreno-Hagelseib G, Greenblatt JF, Emili A
Nat Methods. 2008 Sep;5(9):789–95
Physical and functional interactions define the molecular organization of the cell. Genetic interactions, or epistasis, tend to occur between gene products involved in parallel pathways or interlinked biological processes. High-throughput experimental systems to examine genetic interactions on a genome-wide scale have been devised for Saccharomyces cerevisiae, Schizosaccharomyces pombe, Caenorhabditis elegans and Drosophila melanogaster, but have not been reported previously for prokaryotes. Here we describe the development of a quantitative screening procedure for monitoring bacterial genetic interactions based on conjugation of Escherichia coli deletion or hypomorphic strains to create double mutants on a genome-wide scale. The patterns of synthetic sickness and synthetic lethality (aggravating genetic interactions) we observed for certain double mutant combinations provided information about functional relationships and redundancy between pathways and enabled us to group bacterial gene products into functional modules.