Bacterial chromosomal mobility via lateral transduction exceeds that of classical mobile genetic elements
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It is commonly assumed that the horizontal transfer of most bacterial chromosomal genes is limited, in contrast to the frequent transfer observed for typical mobile genetic elements. However, this view has been recently challenged by the discovery of lateral transduction in Staphylococcus aureus, where temperate phages can drive the transfer of large chromosomal regions at extremely high frequencies. Here, we analyse previously published as well as new datasets to compare horizontal gene transfer rates mediated by different mechanisms in S. aureus and Salmonella enterica. We find that the horizontal transfer of core chromosomal genes via lateral transduction can be more efficient than the transfer of classical mobile genetic elements via conjugation or generalized transduction. These results raise questions about our definition of mobile genetic elements, and the potential roles played by lateral transduction in bacterial evolution.
Humphrey , S , Fillol-Salom , A , Quiles-Puchalt , N , Ibarra-Chávez , R , Haag , A F , Chen , J & Penadés , J R 2021 , ' Bacterial chromosomal mobility via lateral transduction exceeds that of classical mobile genetic elements ' , Nature Communications , vol. 12 , 6509 . https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-021-26004-5
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DescriptionFunding: This work was supported by grants MR/M003876/1, MR/V000772/1 and MR/S00940X/1 from the Medical Research Council (UK), BB/N002873/1, BB/V002376/1 and BB/S003835/1 from the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC, UK), ERC-ADG-2014 Proposal n° 670932 Dut-signal (from EU), to J.R.P; and Wellcome Trust 201531/Z/16/Z to J.R.P.
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