The existence conditions for bacterial plasmids: Theory and reality

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Resumé

Bacteria abound with conjugative and nonconjugative plasmids that often carry genes determining a number of environmental adaptations. Plasmids may also encode genes that enable them to transmit themselves infectiously to new host cells, by conjugation or mobilization. The question of whether plasmids can be maintained in a bacterial community as parasitic DNA, that is, while conferring a selective disadvantage to their host, serves as a basic hypothesis in theoretical studies of the population biology of plasmids. The conditions necessary for the establishment and maintenance of plasmids have been determined analytically for the simplest possible models. Based on these a priori conditions, on some reconsiderations and extensions of these models, and on recent estimates of transfer rates of liquid and surface bacterial populations, it will be argued that within a bacterial population, a parasitic lifestyle is unlikely for most naturally occurring plasmids. This result raises anew the problem of how cryptic plasmids are maintained and why plasmids encode costly and elaborate genes for horizontal transfer.
OriginalsprogEngelsk
TidsskriftMicrobial Ecology
Vol/bind22
Udgave nummer1
Antal sider19
ISSN0095-3628
DOI
StatusUdgivet - 1991
Udgivet eksterntJa

Citer dette

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title = "The existence conditions for bacterial plasmids: Theory and reality",
abstract = "Bacteria abound with conjugative and nonconjugative plasmids that often carry genes determining a number of environmental adaptations. Plasmids may also encode genes that enable them to transmit themselves infectiously to new host cells, by conjugation or mobilization. The question of whether plasmids can be maintained in a bacterial community as parasitic DNA, that is, while conferring a selective disadvantage to their host, serves as a basic hypothesis in theoretical studies of the population biology of plasmids. The conditions necessary for the establishment and maintenance of plasmids have been determined analytically for the simplest possible models. Based on these a priori conditions, on some reconsiderations and extensions of these models, and on recent estimates of transfer rates of liquid and surface bacterial populations, it will be argued that within a bacterial population, a parasitic lifestyle is unlikely for most naturally occurring plasmids. This result raises anew the problem of how cryptic plasmids are maintained and why plasmids encode costly and elaborate genes for horizontal transfer.",
author = "Lone Simonsen",
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The existence conditions for bacterial plasmids : Theory and reality. / Simonsen, Lone.

I: Microbial Ecology, Bind 22, Nr. 1, 1991.

Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskriftTidsskriftartikelForskningpeer review

TY - JOUR

T1 - The existence conditions for bacterial plasmids

T2 - Theory and reality

AU - Simonsen, Lone

PY - 1991

Y1 - 1991

N2 - Bacteria abound with conjugative and nonconjugative plasmids that often carry genes determining a number of environmental adaptations. Plasmids may also encode genes that enable them to transmit themselves infectiously to new host cells, by conjugation or mobilization. The question of whether plasmids can be maintained in a bacterial community as parasitic DNA, that is, while conferring a selective disadvantage to their host, serves as a basic hypothesis in theoretical studies of the population biology of plasmids. The conditions necessary for the establishment and maintenance of plasmids have been determined analytically for the simplest possible models. Based on these a priori conditions, on some reconsiderations and extensions of these models, and on recent estimates of transfer rates of liquid and surface bacterial populations, it will be argued that within a bacterial population, a parasitic lifestyle is unlikely for most naturally occurring plasmids. This result raises anew the problem of how cryptic plasmids are maintained and why plasmids encode costly and elaborate genes for horizontal transfer.

AB - Bacteria abound with conjugative and nonconjugative plasmids that often carry genes determining a number of environmental adaptations. Plasmids may also encode genes that enable them to transmit themselves infectiously to new host cells, by conjugation or mobilization. The question of whether plasmids can be maintained in a bacterial community as parasitic DNA, that is, while conferring a selective disadvantage to their host, serves as a basic hypothesis in theoretical studies of the population biology of plasmids. The conditions necessary for the establishment and maintenance of plasmids have been determined analytically for the simplest possible models. Based on these a priori conditions, on some reconsiderations and extensions of these models, and on recent estimates of transfer rates of liquid and surface bacterial populations, it will be argued that within a bacterial population, a parasitic lifestyle is unlikely for most naturally occurring plasmids. This result raises anew the problem of how cryptic plasmids are maintained and why plasmids encode costly and elaborate genes for horizontal transfer.

U2 - 10.1007/BF02540223

DO - 10.1007/BF02540223

M3 - Journal article

VL - 22

JO - Microbial Ecology

JF - Microbial Ecology

SN - 0095-3628

IS - 1

ER -