A converging subset of soil bacterial taxa is permissive to the IncP-1 plasmid pKJK5 across a range of soil copper contamination

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Stressors like metals or antibiotics can affect bacterial community permissiveness for plasmid uptake, but there is little knowledge about long-term effects of such stressors on the evolution of community permissiveness. We assessed the effect of more than 90 years of soil Cu contamination on bacterial community permissiveness (i.e. uptake ability) toward a gfp-tagged IncP-1 plasmid (pKJK5) introduced via an Escherichia coli donor. Plasmid transfer events from the donor to the recipient soil bacterial community were quantified and transconjugants were subsequently isolated by fluorescence activated cell sorting and identified by 16S rRNA gene amplicon sequencing. Transfer frequency of plasmid pKJK5 was reduced in bacterial communities extracted from highly Cu contaminated (4526 mg kg-1) soil compared to corresponding communities extracted from moderately (458 mg kg-1) Cu contaminated soil and a low Cu reference soil (15 mg kg-1). The taxonomic composition of the transconjugal pools showed remarkable similarities irrespective of the degree of soil Cu contamination and despite contrasting compositions of the extracted recipient communities and the original soil communities. Permissiveness assessed at the level of individual operational taxonomic units (OTUs; 16S rRNA gene 97% sequence similarity threshold) was only slightly affected by soil Cu level and high replicate variability of OTU-level permissiveness indicated a role of stochastic events in IncP-1 plasmid transfer or strain-to-strain permissiveness variability.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberfiaa200
JournalFEMS Microbiology Ecology
Issue number11
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - 2020

    Research areas

  • Conjugal plasmid transfer, Copper, Horizontal gene transfer, Plasmid permissiveness, Soil bacterial community, Transconjugants

ID: 252717389