Many of the genes responsible for the virulence of bacterial pathogens are carried by mobile genetic elements that can be transferred horizontally between different bacterial lineages. Horizontal transfer of virulence-factor genes has played a profound role in the evolution of bacterial pathogens, but it is poorly understood why these genes are so often mobile. Here, I present a hypothetical selective mechanism maintaining virulence-factor genes on horizontally transmissible genetic elements. For virulence factors that are secreted extracellularly, selection within hosts may favour mutant 'cheater' strains of the pathogen that do not produce the virulence factor themselves but still benefit from factors produced by other members of the pathogen population within a host. Using simple mathematical models, I show that if this occurs then selection for infectious transmission between hosts favours pathogen strains that can reintroduce functional copies of virulence-factor genes into cheaters via horizontal transfer, forcing them to produce the virulence factor. Horizontal gene transfer is thus a novel mechanism for the evolution of cooperation. I discuss predictions of this hypothesis that can be tested empirically and its implicat...Continue Reading
Acquisition of tumour-inducing ability by non-oncogenic agrobacteria as a result of plasmid transfer
Transfer of the bacterial gene for cytosine deaminase to mammalian cells confers lethal sensitivity to 5-fluorocytosine: a negative selection system
Molecular characterization of new group A streptococcal bacteriophages containing the gene for streptococcal erythrogenic toxin A (speA)
Effect of R-factor-mediated drug-metabolizing enzymes on survival of Escherichia coli K-12 in presence of ampicillin, chloramphenicol, or streptomycin.
Transfer of Bacillus thuringiensis plasmids coding for delta-endotoxin among strains of B. thuringiensis and B. cereus
CFA/I-ST plasmids: comparison of enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli (ETEC) of serogroups O25, O63, O78, and O128 and mobilization from an R factor-containing epidemic ETEC isolate.
Shiga-like toxin-converting phages from Escherichia coli strains that cause hemorrhagic colitis or infantile diarrhea
The sixth and seventh cholera pandemics are due to independent clones separately derived from environmental, nontoxigenic, non-O1 Vibrio cholerae
Functional and genetic analysis of regulatory regions of coliphage H-19B: location of shiga-like toxin and lysis genes suggest a role for phage functions in toxin release
The locus of enterocyte effacement pathogenicity island of Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli O157:H7 and other attaching and effacing E. coli
A bacteriophage encoding a pathogenicity island, a type-IV pilus and a phage receptor in cholera bacteria
Isolation of a temperate bacteriophage encoding the type III effector protein SopE from an epidemic Salmonella typhimurium strain
Role of the Hrp type III protein secretion system in growth of Pseudomonas syringae pv. syringae B728a on host plants in the field
Development of a biocomposite to fill out articular cartilage lesions. Light, scanning and transmission electron microscopy of sheep chondrocytes cultured on a collagen I/III sponge
The relation of bacteriophage to the change of Corynebacterium diphtheriae from avirulence to virulence
Reproductive bribing and policing as evolutionary mechanisms for the suppression of within-group selfishness
Correlation between binding of Agrobacterium tumefaciens by root cap cells and susceptibility of plants to crown gall
Group-beneficial traits, frequency-dependent selection and genotypic diversity: an antibiotic resistance paradigm
Protection of Salmonella by ampicillin-resistant Escherichia coli in the presence of otherwise lethal drug concentrations
A cooperative virulence plasmid imposes a high fitness cost under conditions that induce pathogenesis
The coevolution of toxin and antitoxin genes drives the dynamics of bacterial addiction complexes and intragenomic conflict
The interplay between relatedness and horizontal gene transfer drives the evolution of plasmid-carried public goods
The nucleotide sequence of Shiga toxin (Stx) 2e-encoding phage phiP27 is not related to other Stx phage genomes, but the modular genetic structure is conserved.
A gene transfer agent and a dynamic repertoire of secretion systems hold the keys to the explosive radiation of the emerging pathogen Bartonella
Evolution of DNA double-strand break repair by gene conversion: coevolution between a phage and a restriction-modification system
The Vibrio cholerae type VI secretion system employs diverse effector modules for intraspecific competition
Cooperation and the evolutionary ecology of bacterial virulence: the Bacillus cereus group as a novel study system
Resource and competitive dynamics shape the benefits of public goods cooperation in a plant pathogen
Bacterial cooperation in the wild and in the clinic: are pathogen social behaviours relevant outside the laboratory?
Bacteriophage: Phage Therapy
Phage therapy uses bacterial viruses (bacteriophages) to treat bacterial infections and is widely being recognized as an alternative to antibiotics. Here is the latest research.