Eco-Evolutionary Dynamics Linked to Horizontal Gene Transfer in Vibrios

Vibrio is a genus of ubiquitous heterotrophic bacteria found in aquatic environments. Although they are a small percentage of the bacteria in these environments, vibrios can predominate during blooms. Vibrios also play important roles in the degradation of polymeric substances, such as chitin, and in other biogeochemical processes. Vibrios can be found as free-living bacteria, attached to particles, or associated with other organisms in a mutualistic, commensal, or pathogenic relationship. This review focuses on vibrio ecology and genome plasticity, which confers an ability to adapt to new niches and is driven, at least in part, by horizontal gene transfer (HGT). The extent of HGT and its role in pathogen emergence are discussed based on genomic studies of environmental and pathogenic vibrios, mobile genetically encoded virulence factors, and mechanistic studies on the different modes of HGT.

Published in:
Annual Review of Microbiology, 72, 1

 Record created 2018-08-03, last modified 2019-04-15

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