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Host ecology regulates interspecies recombination in bacteria of the genus Campylobacter

Evangelos Mourkas Orcid Logo, Koji Yahara Orcid Logo, Sion C Bayliss Orcid Logo, Jessica K Calland, Håkan Johansson, Leonardos Mageiros Orcid Logo, Zilia Y Muñoz-Ramirez Orcid Logo, Grant Futcher, Guillaume Méric Orcid Logo, Matthew Hitchings Orcid Logo, Santiago Sandoval-Motta, Javier Torres Orcid Logo, Keith A Jolley Orcid Logo, Martin CJ Maiden Orcid Logo, Patrik Ellström, Jonas Waldenström Orcid Logo, Ben Pascoe Orcid Logo, Samuel K Sheppard Orcid Logo

eLife, Volume: 11

Swansea University Authors: Matthew Hitchings Orcid Logo, Ben Pascoe Orcid Logo

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DOI (Published version): 10.7554/elife.73552

Abstract

Horizontal gene transfer (HGT) can allow traits that have evolved in one bacterial species to transfer to another. This has potential to rapidly promote new adaptive trajectories such as zoonotic transfer or antimicrobial resistance. However, for this to occur requires gaps to align in barriers to r...

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Published in: eLife
ISSN: 2050-084X
Published: eLife Sciences Publications, Ltd 2022
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URI: https://cronfa.swan.ac.uk/Record/cronfa59565
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Abstract: Horizontal gene transfer (HGT) can allow traits that have evolved in one bacterial species to transfer to another. This has potential to rapidly promote new adaptive trajectories such as zoonotic transfer or antimicrobial resistance. However, for this to occur requires gaps to align in barriers to recombination within a given time frame. Chief among these barriers is the physical separation of species with distinct ecologies in separate niches. Within the genus there are species with divergent ecologies, from rarely isolated single host specialists to multi-host generalist species that are among the most common global causes of human bacterial gastroenteritis. Here, by characterising these contrasting ecologies, we can quantify HGT among sympatric and allopatric species in natural populations. Analysing recipient and donor population ancestry among genomes from 30 species we show that cohabitation in the same host can lead to a 6-fold increase in HGT between species. This accounts for up to 30% of all SNPs within a given species and identifies highly recombinogenic genes with functions including host adaptation and antimicrobial resistance. As described in some animal and plant species, ecological factors are a major evolutionary force for speciation in bacteria and changes to the host landscape can promote partial convergence of distinct species through HGT. [Abstract copyright: © 2022, Mourkas et al.]
Keywords: Campylobacter, genus, species, niche, adaptation, host, evolution
College: Swansea University Medical School
Funders: This work was supported by Wellcome Trust grants 088786/C/09/Z and Medical Research Council (MRC) grants MR/M501608/1 and MR/L015080/1 awarded to SKS