Dec 12, 2017

Variable plasmid fitness effects and mobile genetic element dynamics across Pseudomonas species

FEMS Microbiology Ecology
Anastasia KottaraMichael A Brockhurst

Abstract

Mobile genetic elements (MGE) such as plasmids and transposons mobilise genes within and between species, playing a crucial role in bacterial evolution via horizontal gene transfer (HGT). Currently, we lack data on variation in MGE dynamics across bacterial host species. We tracked the dynamics of a large conjugative plasmid, pQBR103, and its Tn5042 mercury resistance transposon, in five diverse Pseudomonas species in environments with and without mercury selection. Plasmid fitness effects and stability varied extensively between host species and environments, as did the propensity for chromosomal capture of the Tn5042 mercury resistance transposon associated with loss of the plasmid. Whereas Pseudomonas fluorescens and Pseudomonas savastanoi stably maintained the plasmid in both environments, the plasmid was highly unstable in Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Pseudomonas putida, where plasmid-free genotypes with Tn5042 captured to the chromosome invaded to higher frequency under mercury selection. These data confirm that plasmid stability is dependent upon the specific genetic interaction of the plasmid and host chromosome rather than being a property of plasmids alone, and moreover imply that MGE dynamics in diverse natural communi...Continue Reading

Mentioned in this Paper

Pseudomonas Infections
Mercury
Pseudomonas aeruginosa (antigen)
Genes
Pseudomonas putida
Environment
Gene Transfer, Horizontal
Pseudomonas aeruginosa
Pseudomonas species
Genes, Jumping

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