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Antibiotic Resistance Evolution Is Contingent on the Quorum-Sensing Response in Pseudomonas aeruginosa

AuthorsHernando-Amado, Sara; Sanz-García, Fernando; Martinez, Jose L.
KeywordsPseudomonas aeruginosa
antibiotic resistance
quorum sensing
Issue Date2019
PublisherOxford University Press
CitationMolecular Biology and Evolution 36(10): 2238- 2251 (2019)
AbstractDifferent works have explored independently the evolution toward antibiotic resistance and the role of eco-adaptive mutations in the adaptation to a new habitat (as the infected host) of bacterial pathogens. However, knowledge about the connection between both processes is still limited. We address this issue by comparing the evolutionary trajectories toward antibiotic resistance of a Pseudomonas aeruginosa lasR defective mutant and its parental wild-type strain, when growing in presence of two ribosome-targeting antibiotics. Quorum-sensing lasR defective mutants are selected in P. aeruginosa populations causing chronic infections. Further, we observed they are also selected in vitro as a first adaptation for growing in culture medium. By using experimental evolution and whole-genome sequencing, we found that the evolutionary trajectories of P. aeruginosa in presence of these antibiotics are different in lasR defective and in wild-type backgrounds, both at the phenotypic and the genotypic levels. Recreation of a set of mutants in both genomic backgrounds (either wild type or lasR defective) allowed us to determine the existence of negative epistatic interactions between lasR and antibiotic resistance determinants. These epistatic interactions could lead to mutual contingency in the evolution of antibiotic resistance when P. aeruginosa colonizes a new habitat in presence of antibiotics. If lasR mutants are selected first, this would constraint antibiotic resistance evolution. Conversely, when resistance mutations (at least those studied in the present work) are selected, lasR mutants may not be selected in presence of antibiotics. These results underlie the importance of contingency and epistatic interactions in modulating antibiotic resistance evolution.
Publisher version (URL)http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/molbev/msz144
Identifiersdoi: 10.1093/molbev/msz144
e-issn: 1537-1719
pmid: 31228244
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