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Large-scale network analysis captures biological features of bacterial plasmids

Acman, M; Van Dorp, L; Santini, JM; Balloux, F; (2020) Large-scale network analysis captures biological features of bacterial plasmids. Nature Communications , 11 , Article 2452. 10.1038/s41467-020-16282-w. Green open access

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Abstract

Many bacteria can exchange genetic material through horizontal gene transfer (HGT) mediated by plasmids and plasmid-borne transposable elements. Here, we study the population structure and dynamics of over 10,000 bacterial plasmids, by quantifying their genetic similarities and reconstructing a network based on their shared k-mer content. We use a community detection algorithm to assign plasmids into cliques, which correlate with plasmid gene content, bacterial host range, GC content, and existing classifications based on replicon and mobility (MOB) types. Further analysis of plasmid population structure allows us to uncover candidates for yet undescribed replicon genes, and to identify transposable elements as the main drivers of HGT at broad phylogenetic scales. Our work illustrates the potential of network-based analyses of the bacterial ‘mobilome’ and opens up the prospect of a natural, exhaustive classification framework for bacterial plasmids.

Type: Article
Title: Large-scale network analysis captures biological features of bacterial plasmids
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1038/s41467-020-16282-w
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-020-16282-w
Language: English
Additional information: This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article’s Creative Commons license and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.
Keywords: Bacterial genomics, Genome informatics
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences > Div of Biosciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences > Div of Biosciences > Genetics, Evolution and Environment
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences > Div of Biosciences > Structural and Molecular Biology
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10097556
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