Iberoamerican Journal of Medicine
https://iberoamjmed.com/article/doi/10.53986/ibjm.2022.0024
Iberoamerican Journal of Medicine
Original article

Plasmid carriage and the natural complexity of bacterial populations contributes to plasmid persistence

El transporte de plásmidos y la complejidad natural de las poblaciones bacterianas contribuyen a la persistencia del plásmido

Tatiana Hillman

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Abstract

Introduction: Plasmids carry and transport genes that assist their hosts to survive in many environments. Many studies have examined the conditions for plasmid persistence in bacterial populations. A limitation includes that a majority of the mathematical models for examining plasmid persistence only included bacteria from similar colonies. However, most bacterial cells inhabit complex communities where plasmids disseminate between varied bacterial host cells. Thus, there is a gap in knowledge concerning the persistence of plasmids in natural bacterial populations. To address a few of these gaps in knowledge, the present study attempted to examine the effects of plasmid carriage on intrinsic stages of bacterial populations in Bacillus subtilis co-cultures.
Material and methods: B. subtilis cells were transformed with CRISPR-hCas-9 plasmid vectors where the natural phases of bacterial growth, biofilm production, and antibiotic resistance were examined in relation to plasmid carriage. These three natural phases were measured in relation to plasmid carriage through in vitro co-culture assays.
Results: After calculating the CFU/mL, bacterial growth in the B. subtilis-Carrier with Escherichia coli (B. sub-C-E. coli) and Vibrio harveyi (B. sub-C-VH) co-cultures significantly decreased with a paired-t-test two-tailed P=0. The WT B. subtilis-V.H samples, the B. subtilis Carrier-V.H co-cultures, and the controls each scored a total of 40, 47, and 46 of crystal violet (CV) intensity of biofilm, respectively. Biofilm formation decreased after co-culturing E. coli with the B. subtilis-Carrier, yielding a P<0.001. The antibiotic resistance levels of the co-cultures increased by 3% for the B. sub-C-V.H samples while the B. sub-C-E. coli co-cultures decreased in antibiotic sensitivity by approximately 1.5%.
Conclusions: Plasmid carriage contributes to plasmid persistence via altering the natural phases of bacterial populations.

Keywords

Plasmid carriage; Plasmid persistence; Biofilm; Conjugation; HGT

Resumen

Introducción: Los plásmidos portan y transportan genes que ayudan a sus huéspedes a sobrevivir en muchos entornos. Muchos estudios han examinado las condiciones para la persistencia de plásmidos en poblaciones bacterianas. Una limitación incluye que la mayoría de los modelos matemáticos para examinar la persistencia de plásmidos solo incluyeron bacterias de colonias similares. Sin embargo, la mayoría de las células bacterianas habitan en comunidades complejas donde los plásmidos se diseminan entre diversas células huésped bacterianas. Por lo tanto, existe un vacío en el conocimiento sobre la persistencia de plásmidos en poblaciones bacterianas naturales. Para abordar algunas de estas lagunas en el conocimiento, el presente estudio intentó examinar los efectos del transporte de plásmidos en las etapas intrínsecas de las poblaciones bacterianas en cocultivos de Bacillus subtilis.
Material y métodos: Células de B. subtilis se transformaron con vectores plasmídicos CRISPR-hCas-9 donde se examinaron las fases naturales de crecimiento bacteriano, producción de biopelículas y resistencia a los antibióticos en relación con el transporte del plásmido. Estas tres fases naturales se midieron en relación con el transporte de plásmidos a través de ensayos de cocultivo in vitro.
Resultados: Después de calcular las UFC/mL, el crecimiento bacteriano en los cocultivos de B. subtilis-Carrier con Escherichia coli (B. sub-C-E. coli) y Vibrio harveyi (B. sub-C-VH) disminuyó significativamente con un -t-test de dos colas P=0. Las muestras WT B. subtilis-V.H, los cocultivos B. subtilis Carrier-V.H y los controles obtuvieron cada uno un total de 40, 47 y 46 de intensidad de biopelícula cristal violeta (CV), respectivamente. La formación de biopelículas disminuyó después de cocultivar E. coli con B. subtilis-Carrier, lo que arrojó un P<0,001. Los niveles de resistencia a los antibióticos de los cocultivos aumentaron un 3 % para las muestras de B. sub-C-V.H, mientras que las muestras de B. sub-C-E. Los cocultivos de E. coli disminuyeron la sensibilidad a los antibióticos en aproximadamente un 1,5 %.
Conclusiones: El transporte de plásmidos contribuye a la persistencia de plásmidos mediante la alteración de las fases naturales de las poblaciones bacterianas.

Palabras clave

Trasnporte de plásmido; Persistencia de plásmido; Biofilm; Conjugación; HGT

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Submitted date:
02/23/2022

Reviewed date:
06/02/2022

Accepted date:
06/11/2022

Publication date:
06/14/2022

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