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Plasmid Transfer by Conjugation in Gram-Negative Bacteria: From the Cellular to the Community Level

Microbiologie Moléculaire et Biochimie Structurale (MMSB), Université Lyon 1, CNRS, Inserm, UMR5086, 69007 Lyon, France
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Genes 2020, 11(11), 1239; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes11111239
Received: 16 September 2020 / Revised: 15 October 2020 / Accepted: 20 October 2020 / Published: 22 October 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Horizontal Gene Transfer in Bacteria)
Bacterial conjugation, also referred to as bacterial sex, is a major horizontal gene transfer mechanism through which DNA is transferred from a donor to a recipient bacterium by direct contact. Conjugation is universally conserved among bacteria and occurs in a wide range of environments (soil, plant surfaces, water, sewage, biofilms, and host-associated bacterial communities). Within these habitats, conjugation drives the rapid evolution and adaptation of bacterial strains by mediating the propagation of various metabolic properties, including symbiotic lifestyle, virulence, biofilm formation, resistance to heavy metals, and, most importantly, resistance to antibiotics. These properties make conjugation a fundamentally important process, and it is thus the focus of extensive study. Here, we review the key steps of plasmid transfer by conjugation in Gram-negative bacteria, by following the life cycle of the F factor during its transfer from the donor to the recipient cell. We also discuss our current knowledge of the extent and impact of conjugation within an environmentally and clinically relevant bacterial habitat, bacterial biofilms. View Full-Text
Keywords: horizontal gene transfer; conjugation in Gram-negative bacteria; phenotypic conversion; drug-resistance dissemination; bacterial biofilms; mobile plasmids; F plasmid horizontal gene transfer; conjugation in Gram-negative bacteria; phenotypic conversion; drug-resistance dissemination; bacterial biofilms; mobile plasmids; F plasmid
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MDPI and ACS Style

Virolle, C.; Goldlust, K.; Djermoun, S.; Bigot, S.; Lesterlin, C. Plasmid Transfer by Conjugation in Gram-Negative Bacteria: From the Cellular to the Community Level. Genes 2020, 11, 1239. https://doi.org/10.3390/genes11111239

AMA Style

Virolle C, Goldlust K, Djermoun S, Bigot S, Lesterlin C. Plasmid Transfer by Conjugation in Gram-Negative Bacteria: From the Cellular to the Community Level. Genes. 2020; 11(11):1239. https://doi.org/10.3390/genes11111239

Chicago/Turabian Style

Virolle, Chloé, Kelly Goldlust, Sarah Djermoun, Sarah Bigot, and Christian Lesterlin. 2020. "Plasmid Transfer by Conjugation in Gram-Negative Bacteria: From the Cellular to the Community Level" Genes 11, no. 11: 1239. https://doi.org/10.3390/genes11111239

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