Going for baroque at the Escherichia coli K1 cell surface.

  title={Going for baroque at the Escherichia coli K1 cell surface.},
  author={Michael R. King and Susan M. Steenbergen and Eric R. Vimr},
  journal={Trends in microbiology},
  volume={15 5},
Phase variation is usually thought of as the stochastic switching between alternatively expressed ('on') and unexpressed ('off') phenotypic states. However, coupling synthesis of a monotonous homopolysaccharide to a mechanism of random but incomplete chemical modification produces almost infinite structural variation. Potentially limitless variability implies that evolution can produce highly ornate or extravagant flourishes reminiscent of the baroque style. Here, we describe an analysis of… CONTINUE READING