CONICET PhD fellow
Director: Carlos Argaraña
PhD Thesis Topic
Study of genetic recombination in Pseudomonas aeruginosa
Genetic recombination is a biological process that leads to obtaining a new genotype through the exchange of genetic material between identical (homologous) or partially identical (homeologous) DNA sequences. It is one of the most effective ways to increase the genetic variability of a population and is also involved in the repair of DNA damage, especially when double strand breaks (Double Strand Breaks, DSBs) occur. It is widely documented that the RecA protein plays a central role in the mechanism of recombination along with other protein factors. However, there is a fraction of the recombination that is carried out independently of this protein. Our group has studied the RecA-dependent recombination both in vivo and in vitro and our results point to the existence of a mechanism independent of this protein in P. aeruginosa. These results may be the product of the action of an unknown recombinase or by another mechanism that produces apparent recombination, such as “single strand annealing” (IN) or the DNA polymerase “slippage”. None of these mechanisms have been described yet in P. aeruginosa and it constitutes the main challenge of this Doctoral Thesis project: to be able to explain the way in which the RecA independent recombination takes place.