Heterogeneity in the frequency and characteristics of homologous recombination in pneumococcal evolution

Title: Heterogeneity in the frequency and characteristics of homologous recombination in pneumococcal evolution
Author(s): Mostowy, R
Croucher, NJ
Hanage, WP
Harris, SR
Bentley, S
Fraser, C
Item Type: Journal Article
Abstract: The bacterium Streptococcus pneumoniae (pneumococcus) is one of the most important human bacterial pathogens, and a leading cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide. The pneumococcus is also known for undergoing extensive homologous recombination via transformation with exogenous DNA. It has been shown that recombination has a major impact on the evolution of the pathogen, including acquisition of antibiotic resistance and serotype-switching. Nevertheless, the mechanism and the rates of recombination in an epidemiological context remain poorly understood. Here, we proposed several mathematical models to describe the rate and size of recombination in the evolutionary history of two very distinct pneumococcal lineages, PMEN1 and CC180. We found that, in both lineages, the process of homologous recombination was best described by a heterogeneous model of recombination with single, short, frequent replacements, which we call micro-recombinations, and rarer, multi-fragment, saltational replacements, which we call macro-recombinations. Macro-recombination was associated with major phenotypic changes, including serotype-switching events, and thus was a major driver of the diversification of the pathogen. We critically evaluate biological and epidemiological processes that could give rise to the micro-recombination and macro-recombination processes.
Publication Date: 1-May-2014
Date of Acceptance: 24-Feb-2014
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10044/1/54364
DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pgen.1004300
ISSN: 1553-7390
Publisher: Public Library of Science (PLoS)
Journal / Book Title: PLoS Genetics
Volume: 10
Issue: 5
Copyright Statement: © 2014 Mostowy et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
Sponsor/Funder: Medical Research Council (MRC)
Funder's Grant Number: MR/K010174/1B
Keywords: Science & Technology
Life Sciences & Biomedicine
Genetics & Heredity
GENETICS & HEREDITY
BINDING PROTEIN GENES
STREPTOCOCCUS-PNEUMONIAE
SEROTYPE REPLACEMENT
HORIZONTAL TRANSFER
BACTERIAL
TRANSFORMATION
DNA
RESISTANCE
DELETIONS
GENOME
Drug Resistance, Microbial
Evolution, Molecular
Genes, Bacterial
Genetic Heterogeneity
Models, Genetic
Recombination, Genetic
Streptococcus pneumoniae
Streptococcus pneumoniae
Evolution, Molecular
Drug Resistance, Microbial
Recombination, Genetic
Genetic Heterogeneity
Genes, Bacterial
Models, Genetic
Science & Technology
Life Sciences & Biomedicine
Genetics & Heredity
GENETICS & HEREDITY
BINDING PROTEIN GENES
STREPTOCOCCUS-PNEUMONIAE
SEROTYPE REPLACEMENT
HORIZONTAL TRANSFER
BACTERIAL
TRANSFORMATION
DNA
RESISTANCE
DELETIONS
GENOME
0604 Genetics
Developmental Biology
Publication Status: Published
Article Number: ARTN e1004300
Appears in Collections:Faculty of Medicine
Epidemiology, Public Health and Primary Care



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